Fox News reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating the reports of five deaths and one non-fatal heart attacked linked to the Monster brand energy drink. The investigation follows the filing of a wrongful death suit against Monster by the parents of a 14-year-old girl who died after drinking two, 24-ounce Monster drinks in a 24 hour period. The supposed cause of death was complications with her pre-existing heart disorder caused by “cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity.”
While Monster denies that there are any links between the fatalities and their products, the sheer amounts of caffeine and unregulated herbal supplements in most energy drinks are cause for concern. Dr. Manny Alvarez of Fox News writes that, while the long-term benefits of energy drink are dubious at best, the risks and harms are well-documented:
“Research shows that beyond a brief caffeine high, there are actually no health benefits to energy drinks. In fact, the combination of different chemicals is likely to do more harm than good, especially for children. Some of the unwelcome side effects of the drinks include elevated heart rates, hypertension, anxiety, headaches and interrupted sleep patterns. A recent study by the University of Miami suggests even more serious outcomes, such as heart palpitations, strokes and sudden death.”
The effects of energy drinks on our bodies are pervasive and long-lasting. A report from ABC News shows how energy drinks cause irreversible damage to tooth enamel after only five days of consistent use. One researcher notes that consumers are “essentially bathing their teeth with acid” and how damage to enamel makes your teeth more susceptible to cavities and decay.
In light of these recent findings, it is strongly advised that consumer do not drink these kinds of energy drinks in large quantities. Better yet, stay with products that promote natural energy production instead of those that stimulate with obscene doses of caffeine.