Another Teen Dies As A Result Of Energy Drinks
June 29, 2015
A a sixteen year old girl from Arizona died reportedly after drinking too many energy drinks.
Lanna Hamann a sixteen year old girl from Arizona was vacationing in Mexico with family and friends. After spending time out in the sun on a Mexican beach, she complained of not feeling well and difficulty in breathing. She was taken to a local clinic where she suffered a cardiac arrest and doctors were unable to revive her. An autopsy later showed that consumption of energy drinks contributed to her death.
An otherwise healthy and athletic teen, friends of Lanna reported that she loved Red Bull and, instead of staying hydrated with water, had consumed several on the day she died. According to health experts, the large amount of sugar and caffeine in the drinks can affect blood pressure and heart rhythms.
We have reported on the dangers of highly sweetened and caffeinated energy drinks and their effects on driving in the past. We have also reported on the health dangers posed by overdosing on caffeine. Health experts have reported that emergency room visits related to the use of energy drinks have doubled over the past several years.
Young people need to be aware of the dangers these drinks can pose, especially if more than one drink is consumed. Caffeine in large amounts can lead to health issues, including cardiovascular problems, seizures, and hallucinations.
The conditions on a hot day at the beach can increase the dangers posed by energy drinks. In hot weather, it’s easy to become dehydrated. According to WebMD.com, dehydration can lead to
- Palpitations (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding)
- Sluggishness fainting
- Inability to sweat
- Decreased urine output
Staying hydrated by using water or fruit drinks is important. Caffeinated drinks have a diuretic effect that keeps the body from retaining fluids. The effects of dehydration combined with the effects of high amounts of caffeine can increase the risk of health problems.
Read more: Energy Drinks Blamed For Vacation Death Of 16-Year-Old Girl
Binge Drinking By Teens Affects Their Adult Behavior
April 3, 2015
Binge drinking by teens can lead to genetic changes that will affect their adult behavior according to a study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine and published online in the journal Neurobiology of Disease.
The researchers used rats as a model for teens. They gave adolescent rats, at 28 days of age, alcohol for two days on and two days off for 13 days. Later, as the rats matured, they were able to observe the adult rats for behavior changes and their preference for alcohol. Compared to rats that weren’t given alcohol as adolescents, the “binge drinking” rats showed more anxiety-like behaviors as they entered adulthood and, when given a choice between water or alcohol, showed a preference for the alcohol.
While most of our genetic makeup is present at birth, some genes can be changed through exposure to chemicals in the environment that are absorbed through the lungs or consumed in food or liquids. These chemical and environmental changes to our genetic makeup are known as epigenetics.
In the study, the brains of rats that were given alcohol as adolescents showed changes in the area of the brain known as the amygdala. They found increased levels of a protein (HDAC2) that causes the DNA to be tightly wrapped. The tightly wound DNA, together with the increased level of the protein limits the ability of nerve cells to form new synaptic connections.
The researchers felt that the tightly wound DNA strands prevented the formation of new connections needed in the rapidly developing adolescent brain. That the inhibited growth leads to more anxious behaviors and the tendency toward alcoholism in adults.
The one bit of good news was the discovery that a cancer drug known to block expression of the HDAC2 protein was able to reverse the effects of the tightly wound DNA strands in adult rats. However, it will take years of research to find out if the drug will also work on adult humans and whether or not the drug will have to be given long-term to reverse the effects of the alcohol consumed during adolescence.
The best cure is prevention.
Read more: Adolescent drinking affects adult behavior through long-lasting changes in genes
Fewer Colorado Teens See Pot As Risky
August 18, 2014
Fewer teens, in the first survey taken since Colorado became the first state to legalize marijuana, see pot as a risky drug. Researchers can’t connect the legalization of pot to the change in attitudes but they say it isn’t helping. Read more: Fewer Colorado Teens Believe Marijuana is a Risky Drug to Use
Marijuana Use Has Negative Effect On Teen Brains
August 14, 2014
Regular marijuana use has a negative impact on teen brains according to researchers. Psychologists at the American Psychological Association’s 122nd Annual Convention cited several recent studies showing the harmful aspect of regular marijuana use on teen brains. Continue Reading
Parents Ignore Teen’s Advice Against Texting, Driving High
August 8, 2014
Parents are ignoring their teen’s advice against texting and driving while high. This strange sort of modern day turnaround was revealed in a survey conducted by Liberty Mutual Holding Co. The survey results showed that 42 percent of teens report that they have asked parents to stop texting while driving and 18 percent have complained to their parents about driving while high on marijuana. Continue Reading