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Recent Deaths and Injuries Linked to 5-Hour Energy Shots Under FDA Investigation Featured

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energy shotsThe Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating several deaths and hospitalizations linked to the consumption of the highly popular 5-Hour Energy Drinks.

5-Hour Energy Drinks Face Possible Ban

The FDA has received almost 100 negative reports about the two-ounce energy shots, sold by a Michigan-based company called Living Essentials. Those reports include 33 hospitalizations possibly linked to 5-Hour Energy Drinks.

If a link between the deaths, injuries and 5-Hour Energy Drinks is discovered FDA officials said they may ban 5-Hour Energy Drinks from the market.

Deaths and Injuries Lined to 5-Hour Energy Drinks Prompt FDA Investigation

More than a dozen deaths and nearly 80 other adverse events reportedly linked to the 5-Hour Energy caffeinated drink have prompted the FDA to begin an investigation, the FDA.

In a statement released on Novemeber 15, 2012, the FDA said it had received reports of 13 deaths, 33 hospitalizations, and 46 other illnesses or injuries suffered after drinking 5-Hour Energy Drink shots.

The FDA emphasized that it has not established whether the 5-Hour Energy Drink product has caused or contributed to any of the adverse events, and also cautioned that it might be unable to do so.

"While the FDA investigates all reports to the best of its ability, it does not always have access to all the information needed to conclusively determine the cause of the event," the FDA statement said.

Energy Shot Common Ingredients

Energy Shot ingredients vary, but most contain caffeine, B vitamins and taurine (an amino acid found in food from animal sources) as well as different flavorings and artificial sweeteners.

A lot of energy shots contain multiple, multiple amounts of ingredients such as taurine and tyrosine and phenylalanine, caffeine and guarana. Currently there’s not enough research on how many of these "energy boosting" and other "natural" ingredients are going to react together and affect health down the road.

Nutritionists are also concerned about other ingredients in the shots and how they might interact. They would like to see more studies on the safety and effectiveness of the blends. Because they are marketed as dietary supplements, energy shots do not require FDA approval before hitting the market.

5-Hour Energy Pack a Punch

5-Hour Energy is sold in 2-ounce bottles and is labeled as a dietary supplement. 5-Hour Energy is a combination of caffeine, about as much as in a cup of premium coffee, according to Living Essentials, with amino acids and B vitamins. Although the company also sells a extra strength version of the 5-Hour Energy shot which contains double the amount of caffeine, as it it's standard 5-Hour Energy shot.

Energy Shot Allure

Energy shots are not only portable, but lower in calories than most energy drinks. Several are also sugar free, and artificially sweetened, with calories as low as 4 calories per shot. A regular 8-ounce Red Bull energy drink, by comparison, has 100 calories, while a sugar-free Red Bull has 10 calories.

FDA Releases List of Adverese Reports Associated with 5-Hour Energy Shots

The FDA prepared a list of all 92 adverse event reports associated with the product since 2005. They included a variety of symptoms, ranging from tachycardia and abnormal sweating to spontaneous abortion and myocardial infarction. One reported listed only "fear, malaise" as symptoms but also described the event as "life-threatening."

Most of the reports of fatal events did not include symptoms leading up to the individual's death. Of those that did, somnolence, myocardial infarction, and suicidal behavior were listed as preceding the death.

None of the reports gave the time elapsed between consumption of the product and the onset of symptoms, or whether other drugs (such as alcohol) or comorbidities were present.

The FDA's list also included 53 adverse event reports related to two other energy drinks sold as Monster and Rockstar. Five of those, all associated with the Monsterenergy drink, were fatal.

5-Hour Energy Distributor REleases a Statement

Living Essentials released its own statement indicating that it "takes reports of any potential adverse event tied to our products very seriously."

Living Essentials also said it recommends that consumers drink no more than two bottles of 5-Hour Energy per day, and that first-time users should start with half a bottle to gauge the effects before drinking the other half.

FDA Warns Consumer about Drinking Energy Drink Products

The FDA warned consumers that products marketed as energy boosters "are not alternatives to rest or sleep. If someone is thinking about taking one of these products, they should consult with their healthcare provider to ensure that there are no underlying or undiagnosed medical conditions that could worsen as a result of using them."

Cardiologists Weighs in on Energy Shot Safety

A leading Houston cardiologist said the drinks, in moderation, should not hurt a healthy young person.

However Dr. Pranav Loylaka of the Center for Advanced Heart Failure said the energy beverages could absolutely prove deadly for someone with a heart problem.

"Energy drinks have a lot of caffeine in them and they can certainly send off rhythm problems within your heart," said Dr. Loylaka. "Some of them can be lethal."

Dr. Loylaka said heart patients should not consume energy drinks at all.

Makers of energy drinks have been quoted defending their products saying they pose no threat when used properly, in moderation.

5-Hour Energy Distributor Releases a Statement

Living Essentials released its own statement indicating that it "takes reports of any potential adverse event tied to our products very seriously."

Living Essentials also said it recommends that consumers drink no more than two bottles of 5-Hour Energy per day, and that first-time users should start with half a bottle to gauge the effects before drinking the other half.

FDA Warns Consumer about Drinking Energy Drink Products

The FDA warned consumers that products marketed as energy boosters "are not alternatives to rest or sleep. If someone is thinking about taking one of these products, they should consult with their healthcare provider to ensure that there are no underlying or undiagnosed medical conditions that could worsen as a result of using them."

The FDA did not indicate when it would conclude its investigation of 5-Hour Energy Drinks.

Last modified on Saturday, 17 November 2012 16:17
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