Risks of TBI Higher for Energy Drinkers?
Things you think you take for your benefit can sometimes turn out to be things that are not so great for your health. It won’t be easy to accept the facts when you have become used to eating or drinking something. Who would have thought that energy drinks would become connected to traumatic brain injuries?
The recent study has come off as a huge shock for drinkers of energy drinks and companies that make them. But the case is not that severe right now. Presently the connection seems feeble and indirect.
The likelihood of having energy drinks in people with traumatic brain injuries was reported to be much higher as compared to that in people with no brain injury.
It was reported to be seven times greater in people with traumatic brain injury. This looks to be quite a big number. The study was conducted on teenagers. There it was found out that teens with brain injury had had at least five energy drinks in a span of just one week. This particular study got published in the famous journal that goes by the name of PLOS One.
The primary study that was taken into consideration to come up with these findings was conducted in 2013. In that particular study, there were a little more than 10,000 students that became part of the survey. The students that participated in the study in 2013 were from grades 7 to 12.
High Likelihood of Brain Injury.
The chances of having energy drinks in teens that had received a traumatic brain injury in the past year were two times higher. Furthermore, it was observed that these teens did not take only energy drinks but had resorted to a mixture of energy drink with alcohol.
The same study was conducted for students that were involved in some sport. These students showed a double figure on the likelihood of having energy drinks in the past year. Their double figures were in comparison to other students who had also received traumatic brain injuries but because of scuffles, fights and other accidents.
Gabriela Ilie works at St. Michael’s Hospital and takes care of the Division of Neurosurgery and Injury Prevention Research Office, authored this study. She stated that sports came out as the common factor when the study took traumatic brain injuries and energy drinks into consideration.
Gabriela pointed out an important aspect referring to the marketing campaigns that are often conducted by the makers of the energy drinks. She thinks that these campaigns often get associated with sports. And she says they are often sponsoring sports events as well. What this means is that energy drinks attract teens to play games and their association with sports makes teens drink more.
Gabriela pointed out that the use of energy drinks and alcohol in teens is not a matter that should be taken for granted. She also discussed research that showed drinking coffee could prohibit feeling alcohol use. She also pointed out that fact that teens taking energy drinks as a mixture with alcohol are causing massive damage to their health.
The effects of energy drinks might not be big on their bodies, but when they combine energy drink with alcohol, the effects are formidable to their brains. She even said that the effects of combining alcohol with energy drinks are not just physical but also emotional in nature. Gabriela also brought our attention to the fact that the brains of people are still in the development stage between 20 and 30 years of age.
Gabriela clarified no easy way exists to clearly draw a connection between traumatic brain injuries and energy drinks. She said that to have a definite conclusion on the matter, we need to perform more experiments and studies. We must know more about the effects of energy drinks on the brain. After all, little information is available. According to the recent surveys, 50% of the teens prefer an energy drink over a cola or soda drink.
The Alarming Trend.
The trend of having energy drinks in the young generation is quite high in the US. And this is why it is expected the energy drink industry will have a huge boost in the coming times. According to an estimate, within five years the energy drink making companies will be making roughly $27 billion every year.
By the end of five years, the market of energy drinks would have grown by 11% quickly. This was only one side of the story, though. On the other side, we have people representing beverage industry.
Energy Drink Industry-Funded Studies Disagree.
One group called the American Beverage Association. They too have commented on the issue.
The officials from the association said it would be against the facts to say a connection can be drawn to traumatic brain surgeries and energy drinks. They also said no indication exists within the study conducted showing harmful effects of energy drinks per se.
During the comments, they also quoted the EFSA. (European Food Safety Authority). They said that this authority has conducted the and declared these drinks fully safe. They even said that their drinks contain much less caffeine than a cup of coffee.
Beverages Meet Standards.
The officials from the association also said that beverage companies take all the measures they can to ensure that their ingredients and drinks meet the standards set by the federal bodies. There are other points of view. Gabriela is of the view that the effects are both positive and adverse.
Neither are fully known about energy drinks. It would likely be wrong to say these drinks cause any ill effects on people’s health yet. But equal responsibility remains with these companies not to associate these drinks with sports.