Like alcohol addiction: Red Bull destroyed a young patient's liver

Like alcohol addiction: Red Bull destroyed a young patient's liver

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The British Mary Allwood came to the hospital in November 2015. This is typical of alcoholics, and so the doctors first thought of alcoholism.

Too much red bull
Mary really drank too much, but no alcohol. She poured 20 cans of Red Bull into herself every day. These energy drinks carry a warning in Germany - because of their high caffeine and sugar content.

Red Bull is attacking the liver
The doctors agreed: the energy drinks had hit the liver as badly as alcohol.

Effect like drugs
Mary's 20 cans of energy drinks a day contain 550 grams of sugar. Coffee is healthier than most people think, but Mary consumed 16 cups of caffeine every day - far too much. At 22, Mary drank Red Bull for the first time and increased the dose daily.

Sugar addiction
A recent study has shown that sugar addiction has a comparable effect to drug addiction.

The 26-year-old herself says she was dependent. As with other drug addictions, she suffered from withdrawal symptoms. If she didn't get a Red Bull, she was "unhappy and grumpy," she said.

"My Heroin"
“I needed the taste, that tingle. It was my heroin. Without it, I felt terrible, ”says Mary.

Heart and liver problems
At 23, her heart was beating irregularly, the extreme amount of sugar damaged the liver: it grew more than double and scarred. Only when she couldn't stand the pain anymore did Mary go to the clinic.

The young woman started her withdrawal in January 2016. She trembled and her mood swayed. But Mary persevered, and since she's been clean, her liver has been regenerating.

Ban on minors?
Today Mary demands that Red Bull, such as alcohol and cigarettes, not be sold to minors. The Foodwatch organization also demands an age limit and Latvia has already introduced a sales ban for minors.

Known problem
The damage caused by energy drinks has been known for years. In 2012, a mother went to court in the United States because her 14-year-old daughter died of heart failure. The reason: Larger amounts of the energy drink “Monster Energy” with 240 mg caffeine per can. However, it remained unclear whether the girl had previously had a weak heart.

Serious incidents
The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said back in 2012 that young people were very often in the emergency room of hospitals after consuming energy drinks. Numerous deaths have to do with the consumption of sugar-caffeine drinks.

Consumer advocates have been warning for a long time
As early as 2012, the Hamburg Consumer Center called for a ban on the sale of caffeinated energy drinks for children and young people.

These drinks have three times as much caffeine as cola and are therefore not suitable for children. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

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