FDA Investigates 5-Hour Energy Drinks

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

5-Hour Energy, distributed by Farmington Hills Company Living Essentials, promises to provide "hours of energy now, no crash later."

However, it's now at the center of a federal investigation after the FDA received reports of 13 deaths and more than 30 hospitalizations over the past four years in connection with the energy shot.

According to McLauren Greater Lansing Cardiologist Dr. Ibrahim Shah, of the listed ingredients in the shot, caffeine is the one that does the trick.

"It increases the heart rate and also increases the sensitivity of the heart to the hormones that we have in the body, so the body becomes more responsive and the person becomes more vigilant," said Dr. Shah.

Taking these energy shots can become problematic when taken in excess, especially for people with heart disease.

"It can lead to an increase in blood pressue, it can also lead to rhythm problems of the heart as well if they increase the amount of caffeine intake," said Dr. Shah.

Dr. Shah says taking caffeine doesn't pose a health risk for healthy adults, as long as it's done in moderation.

"If somebody is drinking two or three cups of coffee a day and they're actually breaking it down, like every six hours or eight hours, that would probably be ok."

Living Essentials released a statement saying they're unaware of any deaths proven to have been caused by the consumption of 5-Hour Energy. According to the FDA, while they have received reports, they have not yet found any causal evidence that links the deaths to the consumption of the energy shot.

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