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Stroke Risk And Red Bull

    Aug-18-2008

Red bull is a very popular energy drink, among many energy drinks found in the market today. Red Bull, the energy drink is an idea of the Austrian entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz who developed the energy drink in the 1980's basing it on a similar energy drink he found in Thailand. Many other such energy drinks are found in the market today.

Health concerns

These energy drinks are used as stimulants and are popular with sport persons and young people - especially with university students and adrenaline sport fans. However, a word of caution has come in regarding the use of Red Bull, the results of a recent Australian medical study conducted at the Cardiovascular Research Center of the Royal Adelaide Hospital states that Red Bull actually increases the risk of a heart attack or even stroke in people who use it. According to the researchers, even healthy young people suffer such a risk when they drink this stimulant on a regular basis.

During the course of the clinical study, the scientists found that the high caffeine energy beverage affected the blood, tending to make it more viscous or "sticky," blood turned this way can trigger major cardiovascular problems like stroke due to obstruction in its passage along the arteries and veins.

In the course of the experiment, thirty young adults were tested. The clinical researchers tested the cardiovascular systems of these young test subjects one hour before they were given 250 ml can of sugar free Red Bull to drink. Their cardiovascular systems were checked one hour later, at which time the peculiar effects were noted and analyzed. The clinical researchers were quite clear that their results indicated that "normal people develop symptoms normally associated with cardiovascular disease" following the consumption of the energy drink.

One of the lead researchers responsible for the study reports of the test subjects that 1hour after young students drank Red Bull, their blood systems were no longer normal. These students were abnormal like patients with cardiovascular disease. These words spoken by the leading researcher at the Cardiovascular Research Center of the Royal Adelaide Hospital, which conducted the test and reported in an Australian newspaper, is a telling remark about the dangers of uncontrolled use of such stimulants.

Some countries have banned Red Bull due to its effect on health. This drink is banned in countries like Uruguay, Norway, and Denmark mainly because of the health risks listed on the product can itself. However, many other countries allow the sale of this energy drink and the company has huge sales each year. The company registered sales of 3.5 billion cans in 143 countries last year alone. Each single can of Red Bull contains 80 milligrams of caffeine; this is about the same caffeine content as found in a normal cup of brewed coffee. Caffeine is the one of the main ingredients in the drink.

The company itself has some cautionary remarks about its product, warning customers not to consume more than two cans of the product daily. The Austrian company has the marketing slogan that says "Red Bull gives you wings," and sponsors Formula 1 race cars as well as being a major sponsor of many extreme sport events globally. It has come to be very fashionable among young people, who are admittedly the main market for the drink.

The fallout

The reaction from the company that manufactures the drink was initially muted. The spokeswoman for Red Bull Australia told the media that the report would be assessed independently by the head office of Red Bull in Austria. The company also came out with other statements later.

The news agency Reuters quoted the Australian spokeswoman for Red Bull as saying that "The study does not show effects which would go beyond that of drinking a cup of coffee. Therefore, the reported results were to be expected and lie within the normal physiological range."

The fact cited by the spokeswoman for Red Bull in Australia spokeswoman was that the drink can only achieve dramatic sales across the world because health authorities in different countries have passed on the drink as safe.

The Australian researchers are also adamant about the results of their study, with the lead researcher of the study stating that Red Bull can be fatal if it was used during a period of heightened physical stress or high blood pressure. These clinicians say that the drink can impair the functioning of blood vessels function and possibly increase the risks of blood clot formation. The lead researcher of the Australian clinical study was quoted as saying that "If you have any predisposition to cardiovascular disease, I'd think twice about drinking it." The company on the other hand is still certain about the safety of its product.

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