Man contracts Hepatitis from downing five cans of energy drink a day

When the patient presented to the emergency department, it had been two weeks he suffered from stomach pain and vomiting. first thinking of ILI, he then anxious when he developed jaundice and dark urine.

He originally thought his symptoms were down to a flu-like syndrome. This quickly turned into nausea and vomiting, and he then developed dark urine and jaundice. Now, we can see just how potentially risky overconsumption of these beverage kickers can be with a documented case of acute hepatitis.

Although these levels of niacin are not supposed to cause toxicity, they are similar to those reported in the only one other case of energy drink-associated hepatitis.

In 2011, a 22-year-old woman developed acute hepatitis from drinking 10 cans of energy drinks, totaling about 300 milligrams of niacin, daily for two weeks, according to a Staten Island University Hospital report.

Energy drinks are often scrutinized for caffeine amounts, but large quantities of "natural ingredients", such as B vitamins, may be overlooked, the report said.

"Many of these ingredients are present in high concentrations, lending to their risk of accumulation and adverse effects".

The doctors go on to explain that acute hepatitis was most likely induced by the excessive intake of vitamin B3, also known as niacin.

"We therefore suspect the development of acute hepatitis in this patient was due to the daily consumption of high quantities of niacin rich energy beverages". While he said he didn't drink alcohol, smoke or use drugs, he had been consuming as many as five energy drinks a day - a red flag for the doctors treating him. The man, construction worker, began to consume this drink, whose brand n ' is not specified, to "hold on" at work.

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"Physical examination revealed jaundice and right upper quadrant abdominal tenderness".

Doctors performed a biopsy, which revealed acute hepatitis, as well as evidence of an infection with hepatitis C, though doctors didn't think that had anything to do with his problem.

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

Doctors at University of Florida College of Medicine, writing in the journal BMJ Case Reports, found his symptoms were down to acute hepatitis - a severe disease of the liver. Five energy drinks a day for three weeks gives you Hepatitis.

Each bottle of his energy drink contained 40mg of niacin, which is 200 percent of the recommended daily value.

In the case of the new patient, symptoms were cleared by the third day of hospitalization, following careful observation and treatment. The man was told to stop consuming all energy drinks and to avoid any other niacin-heavy products going forward.

Of all the acute liver failure cases reported yearly in the United States, almost half are caused by drug-induced liver injury, the report says. Around 23,000 emergency department visits each year are related to dietary supplements.

'By alerting physicians to this phenomenon, we hope patients will be educated about the potential risks of energy drink overconsumption, and thus, many unnecessary liver injuries will be prevented, or at least promptly identified and treated appropriately'.

  • Marjorie Miles