A new study published by Australian researchers on Thursday revealed that energy drinks could contain harmful levels of bleach. Experts from the Monash University in Australia said the levels of chemicals in energy drinks could be the link to cancer risk trends in age groups that consume these sugar filled beverages.
Teenagers as well as young adults are the most likely consumers of such products while a study by the British Medical Journal also showed that men are more likely to grab an energy drink than women.
These canned beverages are readily available in convenience stores as they are the go-to drink for many people when they're in need of a boost. However, it has been known that consuming too many energy drinks could cause many health alarm bells to sound off.
According to Professor Louise Bennett who led the study, some energy drinks were found to contain hydrogen peroxide 15,000 times higher than the natural levels produced by the human body, The Sun reported.
"This reflects that toxicity is not well understood, particularly for regular consumption of ~350ml such as in a commercial beverage," Professor Bennet said.
Hydrogen peroxide is the main chemical component in household bleach, hair dyes as well as antiseptics. This could only mean that people are unaware they are consuming diluted amounts of a harsh chemical with harmful long term effects.
The body produces low levels of hydrogen peroxide less than 0.0003 mg/kg. About 5mg/kg of hydrogen peroxide residue is allowed in food or beverage in products marketed in Australia. While this is the legal limit down under, many other countries restrict their levels to much lower at 0-0.5mg/kg.
The European Commission on the other hand, permits up to 0.1 percent hydrogen peroxide in tooth whitening products.
Researchers said combinations of chemicals found in energy drinks could further push levels of hydrogen peroxide to a 5mg count due to a driving chemistry between certain ingredients.
Professor Bennett further explains that their research has a long way to go to ascertain the process by which the beverage industry produces its energy drinks :
"Our current research is addressing how to avoid or degrade the hydrogen peroxide. We are hoping that our research will lead to new standards for avoiding production of hydrogen peroxide in these types of popular beverages, " the professor further stated.