Energetic drinks and salt are dangerous products for our heart and can seriously damage their function and provoke cardiovascular diseases along with high blood pressure. And scientific studies have proven it. Let’s take a look at how this happens.
High salt intake (sodium chloride) is one of the main causes of high blood pressure and an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke. Heart failure, according to researchers, is also one of the most common cardiovascular diseases, but so far the role of salt as a risk factor in its occurrence has not been studied.
Professor Pekka Jousilahti from the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki and his colleagues watched over 4,630 people for 12 years, ranging in age from 25 to 64 years. These people participated in two global studies. Which were conducted from 1979 to 2002, and in the framework of these studies, respondents filled out questionnaires about their lifestyle, and the questionnaires were attached to the results of measurements of weight, height, blood pressure, vein blood tests, and daily urine tests.
In the course of the scientific work of Professor Yusilahti and his nurses’ group, the total volume of urine was measured and 100 ml were taken from it for their own analysis. Consumption of one gram of salt per day corresponded to the amount of sodium in 17.1 mmol. Then the participants were divided into a group depending on how much salt they ate daily – less than 6.8 mg, 6.8-8.8 mg, 8.8-10.9 mg, 10.96-13-7 mg, more than 13.8 mg. During 12 years of observation, 121 people developed heart failure.
Scientists estimate that compared with the first group (those people who consumed less than 6.8 mg of salt per day), the second, third, fourth, and fifth group, the risks of developing heart failure were higher at 0.83, 1.4, 1.7 and 2.1 times respectively – even after taking into account age, gender and some other factors. After introducing additional indicators into the calculation – systolic blood pressure, serum cholesterol level and BMI, the figures changed to 1.13, 1.45, 1.56 and 1.75, respectively.
According to Pekka Yusilahti, the heart does not like salt, and people who eat more than 13.7 grams of this seasoning a day are twice as likely to suffer from heart failure than those who consume no more than 6.8 grams. The World Health Organization recommends a limit of five grams per day, and the physiological need of the body is two to three grams.
Caffeinated sweet energy drinks aren’t losing their popularity. In the meantime, the list of health risks associated with these stimulants continues to grow. Already there is information about a certain number of deaths due to the consumption of energy drinks. One particular brand was even withdrawn from sale because men who drank the drink experienced a dangerously long erection.
Still, the main risks are associated with heart function and the risk of cardiovascular diseases. A new study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, showed that consuming even one bottle of energy drink may cause heart dysfunction and high blood pressure.
The researchers gave 34 people 0.9 liters of one of two well-known energy drinks (tentatively called A and B) or a placebo. They then used an electrocardiogram to record the electrical activity of the participants’ hearts, recording every 30 minutes for four hours after taking the drink.
However, although the results of the research clearly indicate that energy drinks disrupt the functioning of the heart for several hours, the authors of the study cannot explain at all why this happens.
Both drinks used in the study contained between 304 and 320 milligrams of caffeine per 0.9 liters of fluid, while previous studies showed that doses below 400 mg did not cause any electrocardiographic changes.
According to the label, the drinks also contained taurine and vitamins of group B. Taurine is an amino acid that is naturally synthesized in the body and, as has been established, has antiarrhythmic properties, and vitamins B are also considered safe. It is not known, however, how these various ingredients affect the body in combination, or whether it is not a combination, but something else. This question remains to be answered.