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Have High Blood Pressure? Be Careful With Energy Drinks!

Posted Aug 25 2008 3:31pm

If you don't know my take on dietary supplements by now, then here it is again---GET THE NUTRITION AND ENERGY YOU NEED FROM FOOD CONSUMPTION FIRST! Supplements are just that--supplements! Besides the safeness of food, you'll save yourself alot of money.

Researhers have completed a small study dealing with the effects of energy drinks on people with high blood pressure. The results of the study prompted researchers to advise people with high blood pressure or heart disease to avoid energy drinks because they could impact blood pressure or effect medications. These energy drinks generally have high levels of caffeine and taurine which can effect heart function and blood pressure.

The person who led the study had this to say:

"We saw increases in both blood pressure and heart rate in healthy volunteers who were just sitting in a chair watching movies. They weren't exercising. They were in a resting state," James Kalus of Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, who led the study, said in an interview. The increases did not rise to dangerous levels in the group of 15 healthy volunteers, whose average age was 26, the researchers said.

But the increases potentially could be significant in people with cardiovascular disease or those taking drugs to lower heart rate or blood pressure, they told a meeting of the American Heart Association in Orlando, Florida.

The study participants were asked not to consume other forms of caffeine for two days before starting the study and then throughout a study in which they consumed two cans of energy drinks daily over seven days. Each can contained 80 milligrams of caffeine and 1,000 milligrams of taurine.

The volunteers' heart rates rose by about 8 percent on the first day and 11 percent on the seventh day.

Maximum systolic blood pressure -- the top number in blood pressure readings that represents pressure while the heart contracts -- rose by 8 percent on the first day and 10 percent on the seventh day, the study showed.

Diastolic blood pressure -- the bottom number that gives the pressure when the heart relaxes between beats -- rose by 7 percent on the first day and 8 percent on the seventh day.

Kalus said the study did not address possible health effects from the way some people consume these drinks, such as mixing them with alcohol.


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