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Energy drinks may contribute to rise in young people's colon cancer

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 18 days ago

A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Florida suggests that highly caffeinated energy drinks, such as Red Bull, Celsius, and Monster, may be contributing to the rise of colorectal cancers in young people. The researchers theorize that an ingredient in these drinks, taurine, may be linked to bacteria in the gut that speeds up tumor growth, with cancer cells potentially using taurine as their primary energy source. The team plans to conduct a human trial to investigate whether consuming an energy drink daily can cause levels of cancer-causing gut bacteria to rise.

Colorectal cancer rates in younger age groups have increased by around 70 percent since the 1990s, with approximately 17,000 new cases diagnosed in the US each year. Energy drinks have become increasingly popular in recent years, with around one in three Americans reporting regular consumption. These drinks often contain high levels of taurine, an amino acid that has various roles in the body, including regulating calcium levels in nerve cells and controlling inflammation.

The upcoming ROSANNA Trial, set to recruit adults with no history of colon cancer, will investigate the potential link between energy drink consumption and colorectal cancer. Participants will be divided into two groups, with one group consuming an energy drink daily for four weeks while the other group maintains their regular diet. The researchers will analyze various samples and data to determine if taurine in energy drinks could fuel bacteria associated with colorectal cancer.

While some studies have shown potential benefits of taurine in cancer treatment, others have suggested negative effects, such as hindering the body's ability to fight cancer. It is important to note that taurine has been deemed safe in small amounts, but high levels can lead to various side effects. The study aims to provide valuable insights into the relationship between energy drinks, taurine, and colorectal cancer, potentially informing future prevention strategies.

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