Dr. Yi-Hui Zhou and colleagues reported on the potential dangers of popular energy drinks in the March 2021 issue of Food and Chemical Toxicology. The study, led by Dr. Ivan Rusyn, a professor in the Veterinary Integrative Biosciences at Texas A&M University, showed that cardiomyocytes – human heart cells grown in a laboratory – exposed to some energy drinks showed an increased beat rate and other factors affecting cardiac function. Dr. Zhou used complex patterns from mass spectrometry to show that certain chemical profiles from the energy drink constituents were associated with aspects such as QT prolongation, which is associated with serious human heart conditions. “This was a great collaboration showing the power of machine learning methods to learn features of the data that have direct relevance to human health,” explained Dr. Zhou. The project has gained considerable media attention, due to the popularity of energy drinks, which has a $61 billion worldwide market. “Many consumers don’t realize that energy drinks are marketed as regular beverages or dietary supplements, and as such don’t really undergo extensive safety testing” said Dr. Zhou. “Some ingredients may be available from natural sources but still have worrisome effects on heart function. Further research should be performed, as some people, even children, consume these drinks every day.”
Link to the article : https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0278691521000132
Other NC State authors include Fred A. Wright and Erin Baker.