A 50-year old man from Liverpool City was diagnosed with acute hepatitis after consuming more than ten energy drinks per day.
According to the man’s attending physician, the 50-year old patient was a binge drinker when it came to energy beverages. A couple of weeks before his admission to the hospital, the patient said that he was not feeling too good, but blamed his symptoms on the flu.
After just a couple of days, his skin and eyes started to turn yellow. Alarmed, the man went to the local hospital where the doctors in the emergency room diagnosed him with a severe liver infection.
What’s even more puzzling is the fact that the man had no history of liver-related diseases in his family, he made no recent changes in his diet, and he didn’t consume alcohol, smoke tobacco or used recreational drugs.
To confirm the origin of his liver infection, the doctors performed a biopsy. The result of this medical investigation was non-specific, which means that the damaged produced by the liver was not caused by a virus, but by a toxin or a drug.
When asked about his diet, the 50-year old male admitted he had an energy drink addiction, and would consume up to ten cans a day.
When his blood work came through, the man’s doctors discovered that his level of Vitamin B12 and serum folate were through the roof. The elevated level of B12 can only be explained by the presence of niacin.
Most energy drinks makers label their products as being all natural, containing vitamins and other vital supplements. However, high levels of niacin can become toxic, especially to the liver. The doctors also mentioned that the toxic effects are cumulative.
At the moment, the man is in a stable condition and is responding well to treatment. In addition, after learning the truth about his condition, the man discontinued drinking energy drinks.
In hindsight, it would seem that this is not an isolated case. Several months ago, a 22-year old female from the United States was diagnosed with the same condition after an energy drink marathon which lasted for more than two weeks.
Moreover, in 2011, another man exhibited the same symptoms after drinking too many energy beverages.
According to the doctors, the man who was recently brought to the hospital with acute hepatitis consumed approximately 160 to 200 milligrams of niacin per day, ten times more than the recommended daily niacine dose.
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