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'Red Bull has affect on heart'.

Byline: PAT FLANAGAN

ENERGY drink Red Bull can have an effect on blood vessels in the heart, research has revealed.

The drink - a favourite with the young who mix it with vodka - affects the blood vessels in two ways.

A study at St James' Hospital in Dublin found that two cans of it caused some of the arteries in the body to dilate and others to become stiffer.

Professor John Feely, one of the scientists who carried out the research, confirmed the drink does affect the blood system.

He said: "It does show that it is not innocuous.

"Red Bull has a pharmacological effect on blood vessels in healthy young people so it should be studied further."

Prof Feely added that experts found that taurine, one of the ingredients of Red Bull, dilated the large blood vessels such as the aorta in the heart.

It was also found that caffeine in the drink led to "stiffness of smaller, muscular arteries".

It appears the effects of the two ingredients cancelled each other out, resulting in little effect on blood pressure or heart rate.

Last year an inquest called for an investigation into energy drinks after the death of an 18-year-old basketball player.

Ross Cooney from Limerick city collapsed during a match at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght.

He had drunk cans of Red Bull before the game, but no link was established.

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 30, 2001
Words:237
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