The metabolic disorders associated with chronic consumption of soft and energy drinks in rats*
Background: Energy Drinks (EDs) and Soft Drinks (SDs) are widely consumed among adolescents and young adults. These drinks contain variable amounts of caffeine which is a central nervous system stimulator; in addition to sugar, taurine, vitamins and herbal extracts. Several adverse effects have been reported for the excessive consumption of caffeine and sugar. Aim: This work aimed at providing a comparison between the effect of chronic consumption of both drinks on metabolism biochemically as well as at the histopathological level. Methods: Adult albino rats were randomly divided into three groups and treated for 4 weeks. Animals received water (control, group 1), 12.5 ml/kg/day of either Pepsi® (SD, group 2) or Power Horse® (ED, group 3). All animals had free access to water and standard animal chow. Results: ED and SD groups showed a significant weight gain compared to control. ED animals showed a significant increase in serum urea, hyperlipidemia and hyperglycemia in comparison to control and SD groups. Serum uric acid significantly increased in ED and SD groups. ED group showed congestion and inflammation in their renal tissues in addition to splenomegaly and increased phagocyte infiltration. Conclusion: The high caffeine-sugar content in ED exerts a more significant influence on the metabolic pathways than SDs. Both increase the incidence of cardiovascular diseases and tissue inflammation due to their effect on lipid profile and blood glucose. The other ingredients in EDs may play a role in the observed metabolic disturbances. Chronic use of EDs should be especially discouraged to avoid these negative effects.
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