Biomedical Research Paper Instructions
You have been hired as an expert biomedical research consultant to offer expert advise to the office of the surgeon general on the popularity of energy drinks among young people in the US. Your task on this panel includes to;
- Identify the common contents of popular energy drinks.
- Describe the physiologic effects of the substances as well as their mechanisms of action.
- Identify their physiologic benefits and health risks (using data from previous studies).
- Give your expert biomedical recommendations (at least 3) to the Surgeon General’s office.
Popularity of Energy Drinks Among Young People in the US
Common Contents of Popular Energy Drinks
drinks refers to a category of beverages taken to offer extra boost in mood
enhancement, energy, provide cognitive, promote wakefulness, and maintain
alertness. Energy drinks such as Red Bull usually contain vitamins, caffeine,
glucuronolactone, taurine, milk thistle, acal berry, ginkgo biloba, carbohydrates,
L-carnitine, L-theanine, sugar additives, guarana and ginseng among other
herbal supplements. Additives that include kola nut, cocoa, and yerba mate may
also be included1.
Physiologic Effects of the Substances and their
Mechanisms of Action
drinks are said to enhance mental performance especially memory and concentration.
Caffeine in energy drink is said to induce different acute cardiovascular
impacts that include an up circulating catecholamines regulation. It can also
yield to endothelium dependent vasodilation and arterial stiffness, resulting
to increase in diastolic and systolic blood pressure. Energy drinks with high
caffeine dosage is related with numerous cardiac comorbidities that include
ventricular ectopy, atrial superventricular and fibrillation and palpitations.
Effect of caffeine is said to increase blood pressure acutely, a situation that
is believed to stress the cardiovascular system, increasing the possibility of
causing arrhythmia2. Energy drink can also result to an increase in
the rate of respiration based on the level of plasma caffeine. Caffeine also
promotes levels of circulating catecholamme, a mechanism that augment basal
metabolic rate. Caffeine in energy drinks is also said to excite the small
intestine, resulting to sodium and water secretion, which result to
pharmacological effect such as diuresis3. Energy drink consumption
can also induce mental illness based on how caffeine impact neurotransmitters.
Caffeine inhibits adenosine inhibitory effects on dopamine, thus augmenting the
dopaminergic system psychoactivity, affecting behaviors regulation, mood,
cognition, executive functioning, and salience attribution. Caffeine is also
demonstrated to induce psychosis and manic symptoms to individuals without
previous psychotic disorders4.
Physiologic Benefits and Health Risks
large caffeine content in energy drinks gives consumer the desirable effect of
enhanced memory, elevated mood and increased alertness. The research
demonstrates that energy drink enhance aerobic endurance by maintaining a heart
rate of about 65-75% and upholding maximum speed in aerobic performance on
cycle ergometers. Mental including memory, concentration and choice reaction
are also said to increase significantly. A different study demonstrated that energy
drinking increases the endurance of upper body muscle in repeated Wingate
performance cycle5. The benefits and harmful effect of energy drink
depends on the level of caffeine and quantity taken per day. The safe caffeine
intake per day should be less than 400mg. Acute clinical toxicity starts at 1g,
and becomes lethal at 5 to 10g. Caffeine physiologically results to cerebral
and coronary vasoconstrictions, stimulated skeletal muscle, relaxes smooth
muscle and has cardiac inotropic and chronotropic effects, modulates expression
of gene in premature neonates, and reduces sensitivity of insulin. High
caffeine content increase flow of urine and excretion of swear and change
levels of blood electrolyte. Taking more than 4mg/kg of caffeine has been
related with unsuitable symptoms that include jitteriness and anxiety. Common
caffeine withdrawal symptoms include fatigue and headache1.
Biomedical Recommendations to the Surgeon General’s
drink has various benefits to the body while taken in the limited amount.
However, taking excess amount of energy drink increases the caffeine in the
blood causing various health risks. Energy drink is found to interfere with
cardiovascular operation and hence a person who had consumed energy drink
recently should not be operated to prevent serious complications, unless
ascertained that the caffeine effect did not take part in the cardiovascular
system. Excess intake of energy drink may result to diuresis which may result
to dehydration, a dangerous situation during surgery and hence, surgeon should
wait until the effect of the drink is over and the patient is well hydrated
during operation to reduce chances of low blood pressure in the body. A through clinical investigation is needed on
any patients who have recently consumed energy drinks before surgery to ensure
one does not have any caffeine effect that would complicate the process or risk
the patient life. Content of caffeine in the blood must be determined for such
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