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. 2018 Oct;57(7):2501-2511.
doi: 10.1007/s00394-017-1522-z. Epub 2017 Aug 12.

Energy Drinks and Their Component Modulate Attention, Memory, and Antioxidant Defences in Rats


Energy Drinks and Their Component Modulate Attention, Memory, and Antioxidant Defences in Rats

M T Costa Valle et al. Eur J Nutr. .


Purpose: This study aimed to evaluate the effects of the subchronic consumption of energy drinks and their constituents (caffeine and taurine) in male Wistar rats using behavioural and oxidative measures.

Methods: Energy drinks (ED 5, 7.5, and 10 mL/kg) or their constituents, caffeine (3.2 mg/kg) and taurine (40 mg/kg), either separately or in combination, were administered orally to animals for 28 days. Attention was measured though the ox-maze apparatus and the object recognition memory test. Following behavioural analyses, markers of oxidative stress, including SOD, CAT, GPx, thiol content, and free radicals, were measured in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and striatum.

Results: The latency time to find the first reward was lower in animals that received caffeine, taurine, or a combination of both (P = 0.003; ANOVA/Bonferroni). In addition, these animals took less time to complete the ox-maze task (P = 0.0001; ANOVA/Bonferroni), and had better short-term memory (P < 0.01, Kruskal-Wallis). The ED 10 group showed improvement in the attention task, but did not differ on other measures. In addition, there was an imbalance in enzymatic markers of oxidative stress in the prefrontal cortex, the hippocampus, and the striatum. In the group that received both caffeine and taurine, there was a significant increase in the production of free radicals in the prefrontal cortex and in the hippocampus (P < 0.0001; ANOVA/Bonferroni).

Conclusions: Exposure to a combination of caffeine and taurine improved memory and attention, and led to an imbalance in the antioxidant defence system. These results differed from those of the group that was exposed to the energy drink. This might be related to other components contained in the energy drink, such as vitamins and minerals, which may have altered the ability of caffeine and taurine to modulate memory and attention.

Keywords: Attention; Energy drinks; Memory; Oxidative stress; Subchronic toxicity.

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