Effects of chronic consumption of energy drinks on liver and kidney of experimental rats
Purpose: To investigate the effects of chronic intake of a brand of energy drink (ED) on the liver and kidney of rats.
Methods: Sixty male adult Sprague Dawley albino rats were randomly assigned to four groups (15 rats per group). Three groups received ED at different doses (0.4, 1.1 and 2.2 ml/100 g body weight/day) for 12 weeks. The fourth group (control) received distilled water. All treatments were administered by oral gavage. Blood samples were withdrawn at the start of the experiment, and at the 6th and 12th weeks for assay of hepatic and renal biochemical parameters. Histopathological studies were done at the end of the exposure period.
Results: Exposure to ED doses of 1.1 and 2.2 ml/100g body weight/day for 12 weeks induced highly significant increases in serum aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine and uric acid, when compared with the control group (p < 0.001). On the other hand, the activities of the antioxidant enzymes, viz, superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and catalase (CAT) significantly decreased (p < 0.001) by exposure to these two ED doses, relative to controls. Pronounced histopathological changes were observed in hepatic and renal tissues of the ED-treated rats.
Conclusion: Oral exposure of rats to ED for 12 weeks produced noticeable hepatic and renal damage, probably due to increased free radical production and oxidative stress.
Keywords: Energy drink, Reactive oxygen species, Liver function, Kidney function, Histopathological changes