Consuming energy drinks containing caffeine and taurine may alter heart function in healthy adults, Nature World News reported.
In a study presented at the Radiological Society of North America, researchers studied 18 healthy adults who underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans one hour before and one hour after consuming an energy drink. The beverage used in the study contained both taurine (400 mg/100 ml) and caffeine (32 mg/100 ml).
The researchers discovered that after consuming energy drinks, the participants experienced a significant increase in contractions in the heart’s left ventricle, which receives oxygenated blood from the lungs.
"Until now, we haven't known exactly what effect these energy drinks have on the function of the heart," said Dr. Jonas Dörner, of the cardiovascular imaging section at the University of Bonn, Germany, "There are concerns about the products' potential adverse side effects on heart function, especially in adolescents and young adults, but there is little or no regulation of energy drink sales."
Dörner said more research is needed to assess the impact of long term consumption of energy drinks, especially on individuals suffering from heart disease.