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Molecular, biochemical, and pathological impacts of energy drinks on renin–angiotensin–aldosterone pathway in Wistar rats

Tamer Ahmed Ismail, Mohamed Abdo Nassan, Adel Qlayel Alkhedaide, Mohamed Mohamed Soliman, Dalia Ibrahim Mohamed.

Background: Energy drinks (EDs) are widespreaded among young adolescents and adults to enhance physical and mental performance with numerous public health hazards.

Aims and Objective: This study was conducted deeply to explore the mechanism by which EDs affect blood pressure (BP) and health status of the kidney.

Materials and Methods: To examine impacts of EDs on rats, 60 male Wistar rats were divided into four groups. Control group was given water only; the remaining rats were administered orally red bull, code red, and power horse at a dose of 10 mg/kg once daily. After 60 days, rats were sacrificed and blood samples collected. Kidney tissues for all groups were harvested. Serum was collected for examining biochemical parameters related to kidney functions. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction was carried to examine the molecular changes in genes implicated in BP regulation and renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS) pathway. Finally, histopathological examination for the kidney was investigated.

Results: At biochemical level, consumption of EDs showed a significant (P < 0.05) increase in serum levels of glucose, urea, creatinine, uric acid, and phosphorus as compared with control group. Significant increases (P < 0.05) in expression of renin, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), angiotensin II (Ang II), angiotensin type 1 receptors, desmin, erythropoietin (EPO), nitric oxide synthase-1, transforming growth factor β1, and kidney injury molecule-1 in rats administered EDs for 2 months as compared with control group. However, ACE2, angiotensin type 2 receptors, MAS receptor, and beta-2 macroglobulin (B2m) were not changed in ED-administered groups compared with control rats.

Conclusion: Marketed EDs have initial hazardous effects on renal function and certainly increase BP through high caffeine content with the concern of the amount of sugar added in these drinks.

Key words: Energy Drinks; Blood Pressure; Renin–angiotensin–aldosterone System; Kidney

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