Request from Vanessa Hebditch- Director of Communications at The British Liver Trust

The Health page of The Sun is urgently looking for someone ( male or female) who feels their liver condition was affected by how many energy drinks they were consuming. There has been recent advice saying energy drinks can be very bad for the liver. The Sun will pay £150 fee for taking part, provide copy approval, and will need to take a pic of you too. If you would like to do this please call Vanessa Hebditch, the Trust’s Director of Communications on 01425 600208 who can give you some help and advice before contacting the Sun journalist direct at diana@kirnan.co.uk. They need someone this week.

There have been a number of recent media articles about a man who developed liver problems after drinking excessive amounts of energy drinks. The British Liver Trust issued this quote in response:

“The liver is your body’s factory – it carries out hundreds of functions that are vital to life. These functions include destroying and dealing with drugs or toxins, processing food and drink once it has been digested and storing energy so that it can be used effectively. Energy drinks offer no nutritional benefit and drinking too many of them can stop the liver from doing its job properly and lead to serious problems.

In this case outlined in the BMJ, we understand that the man concerned already had hepatitis C. Any existing liver condition such as this is likely to exacerbate the problem and create a ‘double whammy’ effect.

Generally, eating a healthy balanced diet including plenty of water, exercising regularly and drinking alcohol only within the Government’s recommended guidelines will keep your liver healthy – you can find out more about maintaining good liver health on our website britishlivertrust.org.uk.

14 Replies

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  • Well I have learned something new , not that I ever have consumed or never will consume energy drinks for the fact of its high sugar and caffeine which in itself can be harmful to anyone , not just people with liver problems . Thank you Rebecca . Regards Linda

  • Isn't it obvious that drinking 5 high energy drinks a day will have health implications? Just like eating only MacDonald's, or 5 family size bags of crisps, or 5 chocolate bars, 5 bags of sugar, or 5 cartons of fresh orange juice for that matter. It's really not the high energy drinks its the 5 a day bit! So should these other foods get a mention too?

    But as always the paper will try to misinform the public and create another health scare. Just like red meat, BBQ's, eggs, processed meats etc etc..

    For that matter whats this weeks new super food?

  • I think that yes, some things are obvious..but then again, I drank for years against doctors orders.

    Red Bull and the like, some of those energy drinks are used in cocktails in the USA... talk about double trouble, huh?

    Cheering you on!

    XO

    Kimberly

  • Couldn't agree more Rodeojoe, everything in moderation is the key. There are about 10 teaspoons of sugar in a can of Red Bull, so 5 cans would be about 50 teaspoons!! Plus all the other ingredients. A

  • i drank loads im ashamed to say to try n get some energy

  • Hi Sheri. I think you're better off with a nice cup of coffee. :-) The famous one named after a large bovoid creature, allegedly contains 1000mg of Taurine, and is banned in some countries. Some studies have shown it makes your blood sticky. I used to drink it as well until I realised what was in it.

  • 😀

  • I did for years. Other people drank coffee I couldn't it gave me migraine so i thought a few of these a day would just be the same. My dad always went mad and to this day he blames them and my liver problems

  • The sun!!!! please they wouldn't know how to report a serious subject. I know they say all publicity is good publicity but come on We already lack liver donors and now it's going to have energy drinks blamed as well we need to shake off the negativity of people's opnions who need liver transplants, most people are oblivious that alcohol isn't the only reason people need one and now you want to highlight something else what people choose to pour down throats!!! one question to you all at liver trust what do you do to help highlight the causes of liver disease apart from every now and again tell us on here what we should and shouldn't be doing! before I became poorly I had never heard of you, I didn't know you existed until I came across healthunlocked, and even then you have never helped me once it is the kindness of the other people who use this site who have helped each other..

    Think about what your doing it effects us not you in the long run '!'

  • I too am getting so confused !!!! I love this site and have followed with great interest many experiences, good and bad by reading the posts. But lately reading about different things which can cause liver stiffness, fibrosis eventually cirrhosis, apart from the obvious being alcohol, has got me really curious and thinking a lot. E.g. energy drinks, coffee !!! (I heard different here) various teas and chocolates, crisps all NICE things - which I especially enjoy at weekends. Coffee I even drink a lot throughout the week. I think I've mentioned it before. But are some of us (including me) getting too worried about the things we eat/drink. I just wondered ; if at random - people would be picked out on the street to carry out LFT's - what kind of results they would get. Especially those who continuously over indulge in EVERYTHING. They have never had an issue with their liver and then when seeing the results, which could be very shocking for a majority, would they then do anything about it ? I am also not too sure if I have expressed myself to be understood. But I am sure most of you know what I am getting at. Or am I completely "tactless" or wrong with what I am trying to explain. I would appreciate any reactions - or perhaps someone can rephrase the text to be understood. I am hopeless at trying to get to the point of what I want to know. SORRY!!! In the meantime - HAVE A NICE BONFIRES WEEKEND ! Which millions shall enjoy eating and drinking ALL the wrong things !!! Same goes for Christmas coming up. If people overdo it throughout the SEASON OF GOOD WILL then does the liver recover after NEW YEAR when everything is back to normal again ?

    Best wishes to you all

    Louise xxx

  • Louise you are quite correct, there are millions of folks walking around with changes in their liver or indeed liver damage which they don't know about. In the Western world (especially) our generally poor diet with lots of salts, sugars, fats and processed food is making lots of folks susceptible to diabetes, obesity and fatty liver disease - Andrew from the BLT spoke about it on radio the other day and it featured in this months British Liver Trust newsletter. The Future Learn free online course looked at the statistics and spread of liver disease around the world and there is a reason that liver ill health is on the rise.

    There are loads of folk who are Hep B & Hep C positive that don't know it yet. Or folks like my hubby with an auto-immune condition gnawing away at his liver yet not knowing it. It is scary stuff. When the British Liver Trust runs the roads shows with the fibroscan machines they often send people off with news that the need to see a doctor to follow up their discoveries.

    The problem with the energy drinks is that they are rammed with caffeine and massive sugar content all of which in that quantity the liver will struggle to cope with & drinking copious amounts of the stuff is a huge hit on the liver.

    Coffee (even decaf) has been tested and assessed as actually being beneficial to the liver - as soon as my hubby saw a liver specialist dietician she suggested he drink at least one cup a day which he does now.

    When you talk about the festivities, feasting and over indulging yep our livers take a hit then (probably why Andrew's Liver Salts got used so often). But, as this is an infrequent occurrance then a normal liver gets a chance to recover - same with alcohol free days for normal drinking - it gives the liver that chance to recover. Problems occur when its a constant, incessant battering that the liver is taking day in day out that doesn't give the liver any chance to recouperate or if there is some sort of genetic propensity for liver damage (why do some heavy drinkers 'get away with it' & not suffer liver damage and some fairly moderate drinkers get cirrhosis ............ it's thought to do with some sort of weakness in the liver or difference in genes or whatever but in one group it doesn't get triggered yet in another it does).

    It's a complex area. That liver course I mentioned is brilliant in explaining many facets of the liver, liver health and liver conditions. A good number of us on here have done it and the follow up liver transplant one over the past few years & it explores all the stuff you and I have just written. It's not got a rerun date yet but you can sign up and express interest here :- futurelearn.com/courses/liv...

    Hope that sheds a bit more light.

    Katie x

  • Hi Katie ! Thank you very much for your detailed reply. I take it that you did understand where and what I was getting at. As I said, I find it hard to express my queries. I am not so confused any more. It is quite logic how you explained things - THANK YOU. You seem to be very knowledgeable about the whole subject. I am sure I can carry on with my "sweet tooth" PHOBIE. I have fatty deposits on the liver & mild stiffness though. I had a liver transplant 2009. My eating disorders have however been since I was 17 and are very bad at the moment. The doctors never commented on the fact that I admitted "binging" at weekends and special occasions. So I carry on with these treats. Sometimes I think we are not allowed to eat or drink anything anymore. Day by day further dangers have been discovered. Anyway Katie. Thank you once again, all the best and it is nice reading your posts as well. Take care !

    Louise xxx

  • Everything in moderation Louise just do your best to look after that new liver, healthy eating and exercise. Have your sweetie treats (goodness knows I do and too often and I am supposed to be the 'healthy' one in my house though if I went for any tests I too would probably have fatty change) but just watch the quantities.

    Look after yourself.

    Katie xx

  • Thank you Katie ! Hope to read more from you in the future.

    Take care of yourself too.

    Louise xxxx

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