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Additional Additives in Redbull Will Increase Systolic Blood Pressure

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. Bachelor of Science, Monash University, Victoria 3800, Australia.

Introduction: Over 50 billion cans of Redbull are sold in over 167 countries (1), marking Redbull as the most well known energy drink of the world. One 250ml can of Redbull contains 80mg of caffeine, relatively the same amount as a regular cup of coffee, in addition to other additives such as taurine an amino acid, B-group vitamins, sucrose and glucose. The beverage is targeted at the youth market with consumers warned not to consume more that two can a day (2) or in combination with alcohol. The product claims to provide sustenance and improve performance, concentration and endurance (3) upon consumption. Recently a large amount of media attention has been focused on the negative influence of redbull, more specially its caffeine content on cardiovascular health, with a number of deaths in the media claiming to be a result of redbull consumption as well as an increase number of cardiovascular diseases. This study aims to investigate if it is indeed the caffeine in redbull that influences the cardiovascular system of the body by comparing cardiovascular variable between coffee and redbull drinkers. We hypothesised that it is the additional additives in redbull that negatively influence cardiovascular health and not caffeine. Therefore systolic blood pressure (SBP) of subjects drinking redbull seeing a significantly greater increase compared to those drinking coffee.

Method: The present study examined eleven (males n=4 and females n=7) Monash University students, 20-25 years of age studying PHY3171: Clinical and Experimental Cardiovascular Physiology. Participants were allocated to one of two treatment groups: (1) coffee drinking (n=5) and (2) redbull drinking (n=6). Cardiovascular variables; Systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), Mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR), stroke volume (SV), Cardiac output (CO) and total peripheral resistance (TPR) was measure during a basal period and during a 15 minute testing period, by automated Finopress Midi. Three measurements of variables were made over a 5min basal period, followed by the participants consuming allocated drink and commencing a 15 minutes period of digestion. After conclusion of the digestion period measurement of variable were made every 5 minutes during the 15 minutes testing period. Data was analyzed by comparing the average basal values for SBP before drink consumption, to the average testing values for SBP after drink consumption. A ordinary two-way ANOVA, tukey multiple comparison test was used to test for statistical significance. Statistical significance set at the level of P<0.05

Results: Average SBP was 130.74 ± 7.98 mmHg and 119.78 ± 7.68 mmHg for the Redbull and Coffee group respectively, before the consumption of either of the two drinks. Following the consumption of the two drinks slight increases in average SBP values were seen. Increased average SBP values for each of redbull and coffee treatment groups after the consumption of one of the two drinks were 153.94 ± 8.02 mmHg and 136.39 ± 6.08 mmHg respectively. Overall, only a slight increase in SBP values after drink consumption was observed, with the trend more obvious in the redbull treatment group (Figure 1). Obtained P-value of P>0.05 concludes changes were statistically insignificant.[pic 1]



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