Are Caffeinated Beverages in Need of a Warning Label?

A seven year study published in the Medical Journal of Australia disclosed the rise in calls to the NSW Poison Control Center regarding adverse reactions to energy drinks. Over this period, the frequency of calls increased fivefold and is attributed to the more common exposure of caffeinated beverages and energy drinks, especially to teenagers. Majority of the callers reported symptoms of irregular heart rate, tremors, stomach upsets and dizziness and a third of them made trips to the hospital due to their symptoms.

Almost two-thirds of the calls were related to the popular energy drinks “Red Bull” and “V” with others such as, “Mother” and “Pulse” accounting for a high number of reports as well. It is even more alarming that during the 7 year study period nearly 550 persons reported overdose from over the counter caffeine tablets, such as “No-Doz.” Fortunately, there were no soda or coffee related reports of caffeine overdose.

Is caffeine a drug?

Food Standards Australia New Zealand reported that children ages 5 to 12 experience increased anxiety from the caffeine intake equivalent to two cans of soda per day, while adults begin to experience it with only three cups of coffee.

“Caffeine toxicity can mimic amphetamine poisoning, cause seizures, psychosis, cardiac arrhythmias and, rarely, death. However, the most common symptoms reported included irregular heart rate, tremors, stomach upsets and dizziness.”

- Dr. Naren Gunja (medical director and toxicologist at the NSW Poisons Information Centre) and Jared Brown (senior poisons specialist at the NSW Poisons Information Centre)

Dr Gunja, recommends that health authorities, “Improve package labeling and regulate caffeine content.” With the growing phenomenon of mixing alcohol with energy drinks, Dr Gunja’s warning should be heeded.

Yes, caffeine is a drug

drug (noun) –  a substance other than food intended to affect the structure or function of the body[1]

There is no physiological requirement for caffeine in the human diet but it is the most popular drug in use. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, alleviating fatigue, increasing wakefulness, and improving concentration and focus. It also stimulates the cardiac muscle and respiratory system, increases heart rate and acts as a diuretic. After consuming even one large cup of coffee or cup of soda you may notice the effects caffeine has on the body, including; increased heart beat, muscles tensing up and getting cold.

“At the cellular level, caffeine blocks the action of a chemical called phosphodiesterase (PDE). Inside cells, PDE normally breaks down the second chemical messenger cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). Many hormones and neurotransmitters cannot cross the cell membrane, and so they exert their actions indirectly via such second messengers; when they bind to a receptor on the surface of a cell, it initiates a chemical chain reaction called an enzyme cascade that results in the formation of second messenger chemicals.”

Confused? Yea, its okay, so were we. Let’s try that again… hormones and neurotransmitters needed by the brain to sustain life require the assistance of messenger chemicals to make it to the brain. Caffeine blocks these messenger chemicals from assisting the hormones and neurotransmitters. Even more simply, caffeine blocks life sustaining chemicals from reaching the brain!

Caffeine also reacts with secondary messenger chemicals that work in concert with the heart. Caffeine can increase heart rate the same way the neurotransmitters that signal the “fight or flight” response during stressful or emergency conditions, therefore raising heart rate in times when the body should be at rest.

Adenosine is a hormone produced to calm your body. Caffeine inhibits the absorption of adenosine, therefore your body cannot calm itself decreasing the natural ability to fall asleep when tired.  Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Caffeine increases the dopamine levels in your body, providing a temporary ‘feel good’ feeling, but an immediate “low” feeling once it wears off causing the brain to crave more caffeine. This cycle creates addiction to caffeine, similar to that of other drugs, as the body and the brain cause the person to feel like they need caffeine to function. Adrenaline is a hormone produced by the adrenal gland that increases blood pressure, heart rate, cardiac output and glucose production giving the person an increased feeling of strength and aggressiveness preparing the body for energetic action. Caffeine mimics this reaction in the body, but can leave you feeling excessively tired and easily irritated once it wears off.

Caffeine can also lead to the increase of the levels of coritsol in your body. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone and has a number of negative effects on the body, including weight gain, diabetes, heart disease or even extreme mood changes. Recent studies have found that the increase of cortisol in your body, caused by caffeine can have negative effects when trying to get a flat stomach.

Increased cravings for foods high in fat and cholesterol. When this happens your body is more like to store the fat in the abdomen, making it harder to lose weight and get a flat stomach.

  • Increased cravings for foods high in caffeine, thus creating a negative cycle.
  • Decrease muscle tissue
  • Decreased bone density
  • Blood sugar imbalances
  • Headaches
  • Increase the risk of High Blood Pressure
  • Moderate doses of caffeine — 200 to 300 milligrams (mg), or about two to four cups of brewed coffee a day — are not harmful.

However, heavy daily caffeine use — more than 500 to 600 mg a day — may cause:

  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Stomach upset/ Nausea/gastrointestinal problems
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Muscle tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches

The states of stress caused from excess caffeine consumption create an increase in production of free radicals. Free radicals are organic molecules responsible for aging, tissue damage, and possibly some diseases. Free radicals are very unstable and attack the nearest stable molecule to them, turning that molecule into a free radical causing a chain reaction. Our bodies have natural antioxidants that can neutralize these harmful molecules, but not when they are produced in higher levels than normal.

Oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the body’s ability to readily detoxify with antioxidants. In humans, oxidative stress is involved in many diseases, such as atherosclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, heart failure, myocardial infarction, Alzheimer’s disease, fragile X syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Do you count on caffeine to give you a boost of energy?

Whether it be in the morning as coffee, before a work-out with an energy drink or throughout the day with those sugar-filled energy shots everyone seems to rave over… there is a caffeine, herb and stimulant free substitute that not only gives you a boost of energy but actually repairs your cell function to give your body energy internally, effectively reducing fatigue!

NT Factor is a food and food extract based formula that contains ingredients that are structurally similar to those molecules that make up our cells, lipids. It is 100% natural and free of caffeine, herbs, stimulants and sugars. The NT Factor formula, through the process of Lipid Replacement Therapy, is intended to reverse the damage done to our cells and mitochondria by oxidative stress. LRT is the process by which healthy lipids in the supplement are absorbed in the gastrointestinal system and transported through the body to replace damaged lipids in the membranes of cells and mitochondria. The NT Factor formula is a unique combination that allows the healthy lipids to stay intact during transport through the body, it also contains probiotics, growth media and antioxidants. Probiotics create a stable environment in the gut that allow the healthy lipids to travel through and get absorbed in the digestive tract without being degraded, growth media enhances the colonization of probiotics and antioxidants neutralize free radicals in the body before they can attack and degrade the healthy lipids. NT Factor works by keeping your cells healthy and fueling your mitochondria, the actual powerhouse of your cells.

When the lipids in mitochondrial and cell membranes are damaged by oxidative stress, the cell is no longer able to produce and transfer an effective amount of energy to maintain the body’s processes. Depending on the area of the body where the damage has occurred, a number of effects can be seen; reduction in brain function, memory loss, DNA degradation, genetic mutation, disease progression and a number of other side effects. The most common symptom of lipid degradation, no matter the body system, is physical fatigue. LRT has been used to successfully restore optimal function to cells and mitochondria; the benefits of NT Factor have been tested in number of studies and clinical trials. It is just about the safest way to regain your energy and your youth.

Smart Youthful Energy shots are one of the purest forms of NT Factor Lipids you can get. One two (2) ounce energy shot contains 1,200mg of NT Factor Lipids. Studies conducted using this liquid delivery system have shown a reduction in fatigue levels in as little as 15 minutes with majority of participants reporting increased energy and activity levels and perceived improvements in cognitive function, mental clarity and focus in one hour. Smart Youthful Energy shots are conveniently packaged and are great for on-the-go. Smart Youthful Energy not only relieves fatigue and improves focus and clarity but restores cellular health and function!

Learn More from our research: http://www.immed.org/Fatigue%20Illness/sept2011update/Ellithorpe_JFFHD2011.45840062.pdf

 

Youthful Energy®with NT Factor is a combination of NT Factor Lipids, B Vitamins amino acids and other energy nutrients in a tablet format. A study conducted using the ingredients of Youthful Energy reduced fatigue by an average of 36.8% within one week!

Highlights of Youthful Energy Tablet Ingredients:

Contains 4,000 mg of the NT Factor formula in a 5 tablet dose that can be divided and taken throughout the day.
Contains a balanced combination of B-Vitamins. Each member of the B-complex has a unique structure and performs unique functions in the human body. Vitamins B1, B2, B3, and biotin participate in different aspects of energy production, vitamin B6 is essential for amino acid metabolism, and vitamin B12 and folic acid facilitate steps required for cell division.[2]
Contains 225mg of L-Carnitine, in the patented blend L-Carnipure, is needed to transport fatty acids it releases into mitochondria, the powerhouses of cells.
Contains 300mg of Alpha Keto Glucaric Acid which is required in the Krebs cycle the energy-producing process that occurs in the mitochondria.  Alpha Keto Glucaric Acid is used by cells during growth and in healing from injuries and is especially important in the healing of muscle tissue.
Contains 364mg of Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), a naturally occurring, organic, sulfur-containing compound. MSM is used for chronic pain, osteoarthritis, joint inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, bursitis, tendonitis, tenosynovitis, musculoskeletal pain, muscle cramps, scleroderma, scar tissue, stretch marks, hair loss, wrinkles, protection against sun/wind burn, eye inflammation, oral hygiene, periodontal disease, wounds, cuts, and abrasions/accelerated wound healing.[3]
Contains 150mg of L-Tyrosine, an amino acid that is important to the structure of almost all proteins in the body. It is also the precursor of several neurotransmitters, including L-dopa, dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. Occasionally taking this amino acid before a stressful activity may help maintain your mental capacity.[4]
Youthful Energy with NT Factor:

Improves overall quality of life
Reduces fatigue
Repairs and restores cellular potential
Reduces mitochondrial DNA damage
Learn More from our Research: http://www.ana-jana.org/reprints/JANA13-1Reprint-GarthNicolson.pdf

 

NT Factor Lipids are a great way to reduce fatigue and improve mental clarity and focus while actually repairing your body.

They provide anti-aging benefits and energy, what more could you ask for?

 

 

 

References:

http://www.news-medical.net/news/20120118/Increasing-health-problems-from-caffeinated-energy-drinks.aspx

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/caffeine/NU00600

http://www.womensabworkout.com/flat_stomach_diet/caffeine-what-does-it-really-do-to-your-body/

http://www.everydiet.org/994/coffee-caffeine-and-its-effects-in-the-human-body

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-does-caffeine-affect

http://www.ntfactor.com/ye-tabs/

http://www.drhoffman.com/page.cfm/1061

http://www.douglaslabs.com/aisle7.cfm?resource=%2fus%2fassets%2fnutritional-supplement%2fl-carnitine%2f~default

http://www.douglaslabs.com/aisle7.cfm?resource=%2fus%2fassets%2fnutritional-supplement%2falpha-ketoglutarate-akg%2f~default

http://www.douglaslabs.com/aisle7.cfm?resource=%2fus%2fassets%2fnutritional-supplement%2fmethylsulfonylmethane%2fdosage-and-more

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-522-MSM%20%28METHYLSULFONYLMETHANE%29.aspx?activeIngredientId=522&activeIngredientName=MSM%20%28METHYLSULFONYLMETHANE%29

http://www.healthchecksystems.com/antioxid.htm

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-free-radicals.htm

http://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Oxidative-Stress.aspx

 

[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/drug

[2] http://www.douglaslabs.com/aisle7.cfm?resource=%2fus%2fassets%2fnutritional-supplement%2fvitamin-b-complex%2f~default

[3] http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-522-MSM%20%28METHYLSULFONYLMETHANE%29.aspx?activeIngredientId=522&activeIngredientName=MSM%20%28METHYLSULFONYLMETHANE%29