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They say: "Energy drinks linked to hepatitis in new case study."

Most of us have consumed energy drinks at one point or another, either because of a looming deadline or during a fun night out. Although energy drinks are often perceived as harmless, a new case report links the beverages to liver damage, after a previously healthy man developed hepatitis from consuming too many.

In the United States, most energy drinks are consumed by young males between 18-34 years of age. Almost one third of teenagers between 12-17 years old consume energy drinks regularly, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).

Between 2007-2011, the number of energy drink-related emergency department visits in the U.S. doubled. Main concerns regard the combined use of energy drinks with alcohol, which leads to excessive binge drinking.

As for the contents of an energy drink, it is believed that caffeine and sugar pose the greatest threat to consumers’ health.

According to a new case report, however, there may be something in energy drinks that can cause liver damage.

The report details a 50-year-old man who was admitted to the hospital for acute hepatitis. The patient had reportedly consumed four to five energy drinks per day for more than 3 weeks.

This is a very rare occurrence; there is only one other case, in which a 22-year-old woman developed acute hepatitis from consuming energy drinks in excess.
Man consumed four to five energy drinks daily for 3 weeks

This latest case – reported by Dr. Jennifer Nicole Harb of the University of Florida College of Medicine and colleagues – was published in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

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