It shouldn't come as a surprise that energy drinks aren't good for you.
Between reports that the sugar- and caffeine-loaded cans can have similar effects as cocaine when mixed with alcohol to the fact that they have been linked to deaths, it's a wonder why the warning labels on these beverages aren't more prominent.
In a new study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers say energy drink consumption can also be so damaging to the liver it can even cause acute hepatitis.
"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 4–5 energy drinks daily for 3 weeks prior to presentation," Dr. Jennifer Nicole Harb wrote in the study summary.
The man, who initially believed he was suffering from the flu, reportedly became alarmed when he began experiencing yellowing of his skin.
Upon examining the patient's liver, a biopsy showed "severe acute hepatitis with bridging necrosis and marked cholestasis." Hepatitis can lead to liver disease and failure, both of which can be deadly.
"A previously healthy man aged 50 years presented with malaise, anorexia, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, generalised jaundice, scleral icterus and dark urine."
While the man was also found to have chronic hepatitis C, doctors believe the acute condition was a result of over-consumption of vitamin B3, which is found in energy drinks.
Each can of the patient's energy drink contained double the amount of recommended vitamin B3 in adults. Additionally, the man consumed four or five of these drinks per day.
Over-consumption and long-term use of vitamin B3 has been linked to liver damage. Doctors recommend periodic testing when consuming high doses of the vitamin to ensure healthy liver function.