An alarming increase in deaths related to beverages with high alcohol and caffeine content, like Four Loko, which is a fruity-malt commercial drink, has prompted scientists to raise concerns about the dangers of highly caffeinated energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster, Full Throttle, and Rockstar, which have a huge base of consumers from teenagers to adults.
Three researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and the University of Queensland in Australia examined the contents of these popular energy drinks which are sold in supermarkets, drugstores and rest stops, making them highly accessible to a large consumer base.
Their research which was published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings in November, questioned the effectiveness and safety of the aforementioned energy drinks. Because of their high caffeine content, the researchers warned that certain susceptible consumers of energy drinks are at risk for dangerous effects on heart rate, blood pressure, and brain function. These effects can be life-threatening as the researchers noted four cases of death and five separate cases of seizures due to consumption of energy drinks.
Even more alarming is the fact that young children can buy these drinks putting them at a greater risk.
Experts believe The Food and Drug Administration should step in and regulate this market which currently has few restrictions on the kinds and amount of ingredients as well as the claims made about them.