Red Bull, according to the company itself, has no dangerous effects when mixed with alcohol. However, a new study indicates that this may not be the case – at least not with zebrafish.
According to squire, researchers from the University of Portsmouth and the Federal University of Santa Maria in Brazil took an energy drink ingredient called taurine, mixed it with alcohol and tested it with zebrafish.
The zebrafish that received the combination was then compared with the zebrafish that had been individually exposed to water, taurine or alcohol. The fish, squire reports were then observed to see how they interacted and how they responded to potential threats.
Researchers discovered that the fish exposed to alcohol and taurine were less inclined to socialize with the other fish and that they exhibit risky behaviors, such as spending time in what researchers call a & # 39; predator zone & # 39; called.
"Altogether, these data seem to indicate that mixing alcohol and taurine may be a factor in increasing some of the negative effects of alcohol," said Dr. Matt Parker, co-author of the study and associate professor at the University of Portsmouth, according to Science Daily. "People need to be aware that drinking energy drinks in combination with alcohol can damage their judgment, and that must be done with caution."
Parker also stated that this specific study was the first of its kind to indicate that mixing alcohol and energy drinks could increase the risk of behavior such as fighting and violence.
"Binge drinking and general alcohol abuse is a major problem in the UK and around the world, with the number of hospitalizations resulting from illness or injury after intoxication that the NHS costs millions per year," Parker said. Science Daily. "Alcohol reduces our inhibitions and can cause relaxation and euphoria in low doses, but at higher doses this low inhibition can cause problems with fighting or risky behavior." Zebrafish have similar biological and behavioral reactions to alcohol and are a very social strain, making them ideal to study the effects of alcohol on behavior. "
Although the results of this study seem to suggest that the combination of alcohol and taurine can lead to risky behavior, it is important to note that the study was conducted on fish, not on humans.
Meanwhile Red Bull claims that there are no side effects of drinking the alcoholic drink.
"There is no indication that Red Bull Energy Drink has a specific effect (negative or positive) that is related to alcohol consumption," says the company's website. "Red Bull also states that this claim is supported by a 2012 decision by the UK Committee on Toxicity.
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