Energy Drink Consumption Linked to Hepatitis

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(Photo: Instagram/@hd_athletics )

Before reaching for an energy drink during your afternoon slump, you may want to reconsider. 

A new report in BMJ Case Reports reveals a 50-year-old man developed acute hepatitis after consuming too many energy drinks. 

The otherwise healthy individual discussed in the report had not engaged in reckless behavior or changed his health habits before becoming hospitalized with lack of appetite, abdominal pain, nausea, dark urine, vomiting and yellowing of his skin and eyes. The symptoms were confirmed to be caused by acute hepatitis.

Doctors quickly realized that the unlikely culprit was the man's increased consumption of energy drinks. He was reportedly drinking five to six of them a day.

It "was directly subsequent to excessive consumption of energy drinks, and resolved on discontinuation of the products," the report stated. The report did not reveal what types of energy drink were consumed. 

The man was found to have levels of serum folate and vitamin B12 that "exceeded quantifiable limits," which can result from the fact that energy drinks commonly contain serum folate, or folic acid, and B12. These can cause vitamins to accumulate in the liver and become toxic.