Can energy drinks cause heart problems

Are Energy Drinks bad for your heart?

In the recent years there has been an explosion of energy drinks to the market.  More people than ever before turning to these products as quick ‘pick me ups’, whether to stay awake due to poor sleeping habits or gain the edge in sport. What effects do these products have on our heart?



The lead researcher (nephrologist Dr Magdalena Szotowska, Poland)  of a small study has found that energy drinks can increase blood pressure and cause tachycardia (fast rhythms)  and arrhythmias (Premature Ventricular and Atrial Contractions) in healthy volunteers. She believes that sales of these products should be regulated. She also found the drinks increased anxiety and insomnia among the participants in her study.

 

Now for the flipside:  The latest research from the European Society of Cardiology by Dr. Matteo Cameli from the University of Siena, states that consuming energy drinks can exert acute positive benefits on heart performance.

 

Energy drinks contain both caffeine and taurine where concerns have been raised of adverse effects on the heart. Caffeine does increase blood pressure, studies have suggested that taurine may stimulate the release of calcium.

 

Dr. Cameli found an increase in HR by results show that energy drinks enhance contractions of both the left and right ventricles, thereby delivering a positive effect on heart function. This could be explained by the effect of taurine that, as previously demonstrated, stimulates the release of calcium from the muscle.

 

Both these recent studies have been performed on healthy subjects with no heart disease. It will also be important to determine which of the effects are induced in patients with heart disease to further the understanding of the potential benefits or risks of energy drink consumption.

 

As always please feel free to contact me for further clarification. Energy consumption drinks may have a benefit on cardiovascular system function due to the latest study but do note that it can contain an immense amount of sugar  and calories.


To your heart health success,


Diamond Fernandes

Can Eating Eggs Cause Heart Disease

Can Eating Eggs Cause Heart Disease?



Well according to the latest study in the Journal of Atherosclerosis; regular consumption of egg yolks is about two-thirds as bad as smoking when it comes to increased build-up of carotid plaque, a risk factor for stroke and heart attack.


The University of Western in London, Ontario did the study where they looked at 1231 men and women. They did baseline ultrasound measures and questionnaires were filled out regarding their lifestyle and medications. They looked at pack-years which is the number of packs per day of cigarettes times the number of years and then the number of egg yolks consumed per week time the number of years consumed (egg yolk years).


So they found that carotid plaque increased the same with pack years of smoking and egg yolk years, showing that egg yolk years had a direct impact on plaque build up. Their cut off was 3 or more egg yolks a week. So they found those who eat three or more egg yolks a week had a significant more plaque area than those who ate 2 or fewer per week.


In summary the study suggests to avoid regular consumption of egg yolk to avoid cardiovascular disease.

While I do find this interesting, I don’t think cholesterol is the problem in eggs. Cholesterol is something you require in your body. Remember the process of atherosclerosis is due to inflammation not cholesterol. In my opinion, eggs offer a healthy cholesterol option. I am not saying to consume eggs daily but a handful of times a week would be ok.


Here is my problem is all of this is based on questionnaires. To think that egg-yolk-years would cause heart disease is hard to determine based on a questionnaire.


How were the eggs cooked? We know that cooking eggs boiled or poached are a healthier option versus fried. There are too many variables to say that eggs are the culprit here. What is causing inflammation and it is really hard to know what these egg-yolk-years really mean. What were these eggs consumed with?  Bacon?  Sausage?


We eat so much variety in our foods and I believe it is too hard to pinpoint it on the eggs. While I believe that definitely more research needs to really see if eggs are the culprit. I say get cracking just not on a  a daily basis maybe a few times a week.


To your heart health success,


Diamond Fernandes