Dogan M. Evaluation of the effect of energy drink consumption on retina and choroid: An OCT and OCT-A study. Presented at EURETINA virtual meeting. 2-4 October 2020.
Study explores retinal effects of energy drinks
The consumption of energy drinks leads to acute, reversible changes in retinal vascular density parameters, according to a study presented at the virtual Euretina meeting.
“While cardiologic, pediatric and neurological effects of energy drinks have been reported, nothing is published in the literature about the effects on the eye,” Mustafa Dogan, MD, said.
The aim of the study, conducted at Health Sciences University School of Medicine in Afyonkarahisar, Turkey, was to use OCT angiography (OCTA) to analyze the retinal and choroidal morphological changes after energy drink consumption in healthy volunteers.
In 42 volunteers with a mean age of 20.5 years and no systemic or ocular disease, OCTA parameters were measured at various intervals up to 24 hours after consumption of 250 mL of Red Bull energy drink, containing caffeine, taurine and inositol as ingredients. The same measurements were taken 1 month later after drinking the same amount of water.
“The vascular density measurements of the parafoveal and perifoveal deep capillary plexus obtained after energy drink consumption were significantly higher as compared with baseline. This increase seemed to start after half an hour and continued until measurement at 24th hour,” Dogan said.
After water consumption, there was a statistically significant increase in choroidal thickness at 30 minutes and 1 hour, but no significant difference was found in other parameters.
“Caffeine has vasoconstrictive effects on retinal vessels, but our study showed that the effect of energy drinks is not only because of caffeine,” Dogan said. “The vasodilating effect due to inositol and taurine is predominant over the caffeine-induced vasoconstrictive effect, leading to increased vascularization of the deep capillary plexus in the parafoveal and perifoveal region.”