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October 26, 2012


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The best idea would probably be to keep these out of the hands of teenagers and children in the first place. I can't think of a reason why I ever needed caffeine growing up. The amount of caffeine in a can of Monster isn't that ridiculous when you start comparing it to other caffeine sources though. It's comparable to many Starbucks beverages in caffeine content and few people are dropping dead from that.

Gosh what a horrible thing to have happen. Even if the fatality was not caused by an energy drink, it must not have been a very helpful. So many things that people see commonly can cause toxicity in excess. One of these things is water; an event was held where people would "hold their wee for a wii" and one contestant ended up dying and she did not even win. It is thought that she was more susceptible to the ill effects of water toxicity because of metabolic functions selective to women and I imagine that this may be evident in other conditions of excess consumption. I simply hope that more people will do all things in moderation to avoid other serious effects like this death by caffeine.

Energy drinks are so popular these days, especially on college campuses. Caffeine is assumed to be safe, even in large amounts, because it’s in so many popular drinks that have been around for ages (i.e. coffee, soda, tea). Only recently has there seemed to be some amount of concern with the amount of caffeine in products such as this. The company that makes 5 Hour Energy currently has an ad running that defends the amount of caffeine in it. Yes, one may not have a lethal amount, but it should be pointed out that taking several in a short period of time is, in fact, dangerous.

Although it is uncertain that the energy drinks were linked to her death, and I don't necessarily think it was because I know people that drink a lot more than 2 in a day, I still believe this is an important article to read. Many people are addicted to these drinks and don't even realize how much caffeine they are consuming. Information about this product has to be given to people and often times a story like this, as unfortunate as it is, gets the message across.

Why anyone with a heart condition would drink 2 large energy drinks in one day is beyond me. It says right on the label that the drinks are not intended for children, pregnant women, and those with medical conditions. People need to start paying attention to these labels, and their own bodies. I see no fault with the energy drink companies on this one. I drink just a small portion of one energy drink, and I'm wired for hours! I just can't imagine drinking 2 cans...Sad story, but let it be a lesson to those who follow.

It is very scary to hear that monster does not label the content of their energy drinks. I agree with some other comments that there are multiple beverages out there with higher caffeine content but this led me to wonder what other substances are possibly included in the drink formulary. Caffeine is contained in many different beverages and food sources that people consume multiples a day. It’s important to have more restricted label regulations so that consumers can make a well-informed choice for their health.

This is such a pressing concern. I am very glad that the FDA is investigating this. These drinks are becoming more and more popular among youths and adolescents. These warnings are important.

This is very scary to hear. I know this drink is very popular among students, especially when it’s near exam time and cramming begins. I’m sure many students aren’t aware or don’t realize how much caffeine they’re actually ingesting. Further investigation into this will be beneficial so that people can be well informed of the potential dangers of these drinks.

I agree that people react diffrently to diffrent things but I don't think that caffeine could exacerbate her problem that much that result in her death. Otherwise on every single of these drinks should be a warning that people who have some underlying conditions can't have them!

People’s organisms have different ways of responding to food, drugs, supplements etc. No two people are the same, and assumptions should not be made that just because something is safe to use in one person, that it can be safe to use in others. Like with most things in life, moderation is key. People need to be aware of the ingredients listed in each of the foods/drinks they ingest, and need to be aware of what effect they might have on their body. Despite underlying conditions, many products can exacerbate symptoms and great caution should be taken.

I personally don't think that caffeine was the cause of her death. I strongly believe that if she didn't have underlying hearth condition she wouldn't die even if she had more of that Monster Energy drink. I usually drink 6 extra bold k-cup every night that I work. I have been doing that for a long time and I haven't died yet because I don't have underlying heart condition!

I agree that more information should be made available about the dangers of too much caffeine. This is especially important in teenagers and young kids, who are frequent users of energy drinks. Hopefully the FDA realizes the importance of a warning on these types of drinks, to warn parents and teens about the potential effects. It would also be important to change the rules on labeling of these types of drinks - I think it is insane that the content of Caffeine is not explicitly declared on the label of an energy drink, especially when such a high content is found in one drink. It is unfortunate that a life has to be lost in order for the FDA to re-evaluate these labeling rules, but hopefully they can prevent something like this from happening again in the future through proper labelling.

This is crazy! I've heard the stories of college students dying after drinking energy drinks mixed with alcohol, but I never realized how dangerous they were on their own. Energy drinks have become very popular among teenagers. I remember hardly ever drinking coffee or energy drinks while I was a teenager, but now it seems to be the new norm. I think it's extremely important to educate kids on other natural ways to keep their energy up, such as getting a proper amount of sleep each night, exercising and drinking plenty of water. Teenagers should also be educated on the amount of caffeine in these drinks and the maximum amount they should consume each day, since many of them probably don't realize how dangerous they can actually be. I certainly didn't.

Maybe there should be an age limit to prevent teenagers from consuming too much caffeine. I know that there is an age restriction to the 5- hour energy drinks. I agree that the company should put a warning on the can about the cardiovascular risk. It will be interesting to see what the company and FDA will do in response to this event.

I believe in this case, this teens death could be attributed to her heart defect and cannot be completely blamed on the Monster energy drink. I consume about 24 oz of iced coffee daily and have for a few years while in pharmacy school. I think the effects of large amounts of caffeine should be strongly discouraged in anyone with a heart condition.

I agree with you, bz. Labeling the amount of caffeine in these energy drinks (Red Bull, Monster Energy, etc.) may prove helpful, but they should also include the values people should not exceed per day for children and for adults to put the amount in perspective. However, like you said, many people do not bother to read nutritional labels. I still think the labeling should be mandated though because even if only one susceptible person with a cardiac condition read it, perhaps it could still prevent an event like this from happening. It makes me wonder what could be done to encourage the public to actually read nutritional labels though…

I remember reading about an NIH study at http://www.nih.gov/researchmatters/june2012/06042012coffee.htm (N Engl J Med. 2012 May 17;366(20):1891-904. PMID: 22591295) that was reported in the May 17, 2012, edition of the New England Journal of Medicine where coffee drinking appeared to decrease the risk of death. “Compared to men and women who didn't drink coffee, those who drank 3 or more cups per day had approximately a 10% lower risk of death. Coffee drinkers were less likely to die from heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries and accidents, diabetes and infections.” Younger people can be more sensitive to the effects of caffeine and may not know they have an underlying heart problem, and we know caffeine has cardiovascular effects, so their combination could potentially be dangerous in individual cases like this.

I had no idea there is so much caffeine in Monster energy drinks! I used to drink them all the time in college to get me through long nights of studying, and definitely felt my heart race after drinking them. The label seems to hide the caffeine content in their "energy blend" that lists the sum of several products including caffeine, l-carnitine, and guarana, among other things. Perhaps the can should have a warning to patients with cardiac disease!

I was reading this article and thinking about the idea of labeling caffeine content. My initial reaction is that it’s crazy that caffeine amounts aren’t labeled so that consumers can make healthy and informed decisions. As I thought about it more however, some people would probably benefit, but I believe a lot of people would completely ignore the labels anyways. So many people never look or purposefully choose to ignore the labeled calories on candy bars and the Surgeon General’s warning on cigarettes. While I definitely agree the labels are needed, it is disheartening to realize that these events would continue despite the opportunity for education.

Consumption of caffeine and caffeinated products is rampant today. Lines at drive through and in Dunkin Donut, Starbucks and other places including convenience stores form in the mornings and around mealtimes. What used to be considered for "adults only" has become a part of the daily habit of teens and some younger kids. While the investigation sets out to discover if caffeine can be linked to the death of a teen, I question what else is in these energy drinks and how might those substances (herbal additives, for example) react or interact with other things that are consumed simultaneously. What is considered "too much" as far as caffeine? Is there enough information to caution parents about these drinks, regular coffee and even consumption of chocolate and foods containing caffeine? This is most definitely only the beginning of a lengthy inquiry!

I’m an avid Starbucks fan, and I drink the tall size House blend on a regular basis. Tall size is the small size, at 12 ounces, and it is estimated at there is approximately 260mg of caffeine in a 12 ounce cup of Starbucks coffee. Monster Energy contains about 240mg caffeine in a 24 ounce can. Most of the times, I see many people at Starbucks with a Grande (16oz), Venti, (24oz), or even a Trenta (30oz) size coffee, and I can only imagine how much caffeine they are consuming. If Monster Energy drink has approximately the equivalent amount of caffeine as a small cup of coffee, and people have not died from caffeine overdose from their daily morning coffee, then it makes me wonder what other mystery component in the Monster Energy drink may be hazardous to our health.

Caffeine is one of those things that is a bit of a double-edged sword I believe. There have been studies linking MODERATE coffee consumption with lower all-cause mortality, Alzheimer’s risk, dementia, and skin cancer risk. However, we can’t be sure if this is due to the caffeine in coffee or something else. With these energy drinks like Monster and 5-Hour Energy, we don’t have much information about their health effects other than they usually contain a lot of caffeine. Also, it is popular to consume these drinks (especially Red Bull) in combination with alcohol, which can be dangerous. In addition to teenagers and children, pregnant women should also be especially careful about their caffeine intake. Overall, I think that if you find yourself needing to consume that much caffeine daily, you should look for safer alternatives to boost your energy level, such as getting more sleep, exercising regularly, drinking enough water, and eating healthy. You’d be amazed how much more energized you feel when you take care of yourself!

Caffeine is not usually thought of as a dangerous substance - it is so common in our culture, but the dangers of high caffeine content are not so commonly known. More education, especially for teenagers, is needed so that the potential adverse effects of high caffeine content are understood.

I have drunk many cans of Monster Energy drinks, mostly to keep me awake to do late night studying. The fact there has been deaths linked to energy drinks comes as no surprise to me. AS this report shows, energy drinks usually has incredible amounts of caffeine in them which could, potentially, cause many problems. Until the FDA cracks down on what these energy drink companies can put on the label, the risk for incidences like this will remain.

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