Bad news for those who consume energy drinks: drinking too many has been linked to a case of hepatitis.

According to new reports, there may be something in the drinks that causes consumers to develop liver damage. 

A fifty-year-old British male was admitted to the hospital with acute hepatitis after drinking 4 to 5 energy drinks per day.

The case report stated as follows:

“A previously healthy man aged 50 years presented with malaise, anorexia, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, generalised jaundice, scleral icterus and dark urine.

He was not on any prescription or over-the-counter medications, but reported drinking four to five energy drinks daily for three weeks prior to presentation.

Physical examination revealed jaundice and right upper quadrant abdominal tenderness.

Laboratory studies were remarkable for transaminitis and evidence of chronic hepatitis C infection.”

Before his hospitalization, it is reported that the man was feeling increasingly ill after drinking the drinks, first feeling abdominal pain before vomiting.

Doctors suspect that the issue is an overdose of niacin, or vitamin B3, that created the acute hepatitis infection. While the amount of B3 he was drinking per day was below the level that is considered toxic to the body, doctors have still deduced that this is the most likely cause of his infection.

There is no other way the man could have developed acute hepatitis, as he does not have tattoos, nor does he take recreational drugs with needles (both two of the most common ways of spreading hepatitis). He also does not have a family history of liver problems and does not engage in sexual behavior that could cause hepatitis.

The patient was given a clean bill of health after three days in the hospital.

This is not the first case of acute hepatitis due to consumption of energy drinks. In 2010, a 22-year-old woman was treated for the same condition after excessively consuming energy drinks.

Doctors have stated from the report:

“The development of acute hepatitis in this patient was likely secondary to excessive energy drink consumption.

Energy drinks as well as other herbal/over-the-counter supplements should be considered by clinicians in the workup of patients with acute hepatitis, particularly once other aetiologies have been excluded.”

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