Monday, March 25, 2013


We have known for awhile now that the Red Bull drink does perp you up. make you feel more awake, and gives you a bit more energy for awhile. I take the occasional Red Bull every now and then but stopped taking almost 5 years ago, when I realised that it could be containing caffeine and is actually harmful.

 There is a small meta-analysis done on the effects of Red Bull drinks on CVS parameters like blood pressure, heart rate and QT interval. This piece of work was done by Dr Sachin Shah and colleagues at the University of Pacific, Stockton, California. Dr Shah and colleagues looked at all the available data on the CVS effects of red bull drink on BP, HR and QT interval. There were few small studies, to be honest. This data was presented at the Epidermiology and Prevention / Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013, Annual scientific session. The investigators found that consuming 1-3 cans of Red Bull, was followed by a 3.5 mmHg rise in systolic blood pressure and a 10 msec increase in QT interval. This does not sound like much, but it will do well to remember that a 3 mmHg rise in systolic BP was what cause Torcetoprib to undergo more studies when it was presented to FDA for approval. And a 10 msecs increase in QT interval, for people who are prone, my be enough to trigger polymorphic ventricular VT. It is not exactly an innocent fun drink. In fact, many wonder whether it should be called a drug and undergo more stringent drug authority scrutiny.

But Red Bull has spend millions on advertisements. By the way, Sebastian Vettel, their F1 champion, has just won the Sepang Gran Prix.
Each 8.4 oz can of Red Bull, contains about 80 mgm of caffeine. Is Red Bull a drug? So, shall we face medical facts, that Red Bull may damage health, or shall we follow mass media hype, that Red Bull is a drink of the champions? What do you think, FDA?

1 comment:

Winston said...

If I'm not mistaken, this drink is made up of caffeine and sugar.
These are what give it the high.
Also, it seemed that someone had died from taking such drinks some time ago.