August 28, 2012
SIENA, ItalyThe effects of energy drinks on the heart have been hotly debated among the medical and regulatory communities; however, new research presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) suggest consuming energy drinks can boost heart function.
Researchers from the University of Siena used speckle-tracking echocardiography, the avant-garde technique in echocardiography, and echo Doppler analysis to explore the influence of energy drinks on heart function. For the study 35 healthy subjects with a mean age 25 years drank a body surface area indexed amount of an energy drink (168 ml/m2) containing caffeine and taurine. Assessments of heart rate, blood pressure, left ventricular function and right ventricular function were undertaken at baseline and one hour after consumption. Heart rate increased by 1.2%, systolic blood pressure increased by 2.6% and diastolic blood pressure increased by 6%.
This confirms that a standard energy drink consumption induces a light increase in diastolic blood pressure," the researchers said.
Left ventricular function improved in comparison to baseline. Right ventricular function was also improved one hour after consuming energy drinks.
Taken together these results show that energy drinks enhance contractions of both the left and right ventricles, thereby delivering a positive effect on myocardial function," said Dr. Matteo Cameli from University of Siena. This could be explained by the inotropic effect of taurine that, as previously demonstrated, stimulates the release of calcium from the sarcoplasmic reticulum."
He noted future studies need to focus on whether such benefits persist after long-term consumption of energy drinks, and what the effects are of consuming these drinks during physical activity.
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