FDA Investigates Possible Link Between Monster Energy Drinks and Five Deaths

Monster Energy Drink Possible Cause of DeathThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating reports that five people have died since 2009 after they consumed Monster energy drinks, according to the Los Angeles Times. The investigation was announced after parents of 14-year-old Anais Fournier sued the company in connection with their daughter’s death.

The FDA said it has not established a connection between the drinks and the deaths, the article notes. The FDA can regulate caffeine levels in soft drinks, according to the newspaper. The limit in a 12-ounce soda is about 71 milligrams. The caffeine levels in most energy drinks exceed that level, because they are labeled dietary supplements.

In a statement, the company said, “Monster does not believe that its products are in any way responsible for the death of Ms. Fournier and intends to vigorously defend the lawsuit.” According to the company, the drinks “generally contain approximately 10 milligrams of caffeine from all sources per ounce. By comparison, the leading brands of coffee house brewed coffee contain on average more than 20 milligrams of caffeine per ounce. An entire 24-ounce can of Monster Energy contains about 240 milligrams of caffeine from all sources, which is around 30 percent less than the average caffeine contained in a medium-sized, 16-ounce cup of coffee house brewed coffee.”

Full story of death and energy drinks at DrugFree.org

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Coffee good for you, but it’s OK to hold back

ed hardy & splash one IIf you can’t get through your day without a coffee break or two, here’s good news for you: What scientists know so far suggests coffee may help you stay healthy.

As usual with medical research, the operative word is "may."

It’s hard to know for sure whether coffee is really causing good effects — lifestyles or behaviors associated with coffee consumption may also influence health. Also, different people have different tolerances for coffee — it can have short-term side effects that make people steer clear of morning brews.

So, doctors aren’t quite convinced enough to prescribe coffee — but they probably don’t need to, because so many people indulge in it anyway.

The point is: In general, regular coffee drinkers won’t be discouraged from continuing the habit, although there are exceptions.

"For most people, for people who don’t experience the side effects, the benefits far outweigh the risks," said Dr. Donald Hensrud of the Mayo Clinic.

Full story of health and coffee at CNN Health

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What the Yuck: Can I mix coffee with my meds?

Mixing Coffee and MedicationsQ: Is it true that coffee doesn’t mix well with some medications?

A: That’s true, unless you’re drinking decaf. It’s best not to combine large amounts of caffeine with any drug that has stimulant effects, such as pseudoephedrine (which is found in some cold and allergy meds), because the caffeine can heighten the drug’s side effects, which may include weakness, nausea, and an irregular heartbeat.

Meanwhile, certain antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), can interfere with the breakdown of caffeine in your body, extending the amount of time it stays in your system and prolonging its effects, such as insomnia or a bad case of the jitters. The herbal supplement echinacea can also do this.

Full story of coffee and meds at CNN Health

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