Effects of Oral Administration of Energy Drinks on Blood Chemistry, Tissue Histology and Brain Acetylcholine in Rabbits

  • OAT Ebuehi
  • OE Ajayi
  • AL Onyeulor
  • D Awelimobor
Keywords: Energy drinks, blood chemistry, histopathology, acetyl choline, brain, liver, heart


Background: Energy drinks are canned or bottled carbonated beverages that contain large amounts of caffeine and sugar with additional ingredients, such as BVitamins, amino acids and herbal stimulants. Previous reports have shown that consumption of large amounts of
these energy drinks may result in adverse health consequences.
Objective: The present study is to ascertain if ora
administration of energy drinks, such as “power horse” and “red bull”, may affect blood chemistry, tissue histology and acetyl choline levels in rabbits.
Methods: Five ml of power horse and red bull energy drinks, caffeine and saline (control) were orally administered daily for 36 days to rabbits. Body weight, feed and water intake were measured every other day. The blood samples were taken by cardiac puncture for blood chemistry measurement and their liver, heart and brain tissues were used for histological assay. The plasma, liver, brain and heart acetylcholine levels were also  determined.
Results: There were no significant differences in the body weight, feed intake and organ weights of rabbits administered energy drinks or caffeine as compared to the control. The blood chemistry results showed that the
activities of the aspartate and alanine amino transferase, concentrations of plasma creatinine, uric acid and albumin were increased in the control as compared to the red bull and caffeine administered rabbits. The  concentrations of total protein, total cholesterol, triglyceride, high density
lipoprotein (HDL) and low density lipoprotein (LDL) and glucose  concentrations were increased in power horse and red bull administered rabbits as compared to caffeine administered rabbits and control rabbits. The concentrations of plasma and brain acetylcholine of rabbits administered power horse and red bull were significantly higher than in the control, while it was lower in liver and heart acetyl choline levels.. The histopathological findings of the brain and liver show that there were no obvious histopathological abnormalities in the brain, liver and heart of rabbits administered power horse or red bull and caffeine as compared to the control rabbits.
Conclusion: Data of the present study indicate that oral administration of the energy drinks, specifically power horse and red bull, affected blood chemistry, liver enzymes activities, but do not significantly affect the histopathology of the brain, heart and liver of the rabbits. This findings
suggest that energy drinks may alter cholinergic neurotransmission and neural functions mediated by acetylcholine.

Key Words: Energy drinks, blood chemistry, histopathology, acetyl choline, brain, liver, heart


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eISSN: 0189-2657