February 09, 2005

3 out of 1,000,000,000

Following up on this post, a reader sends a link to this story about a Swedish investigation into the safety of Red Bull energy drink.

Apparently, three otherwise healthy people in Sweden have keeled over dead shortly after drinking Red Bull. Two of the victims had mixed Red Bull with vodka; the other had just completed a "heavy workout at the gym."

This "outbreak" of Red Bull-related deaths doesn't seem to have stimulated much interest outside of Sweden (insert obligatory bad pun apology here). The UK isn't planning any investigations, and the U.S. FDA has been a bit preoccupied with statins and COX-2 inhibitors. There may be other nations as concerned as Sweden, but I haven't heard of any.

In the overall scheme of health risks, I don't think we have much to worry about from Red Bull. Over 1 billion cans were purchased worldwide last year, and I imagine quite a few of them were consumed just after exercise, or with alcohol. Meanwhile, most of us in the industrialized world keep dying of heart disease, cancer, and car crashes.

Besides, a trusted source informs me that Red Bull effectively kills the taste of vodka. Surely that's worth the risk.

Posted by Carey at February 9, 2005 09:28 AM
Comments

hmm... another reason not to consume unnaturally produced food products... maybe swedes are particularly sensitive...

as for health risks, i do know of one michigan law professor who consume a 12-pack of red bull on his yearly drive down to his "other home" in new mexico. apparently, he drives all the way through without stopping... i say, forgo the red bull's "wings" and get to new mexico faster (and probably safer if you're driving on no sleep and red bull) booking a ticket on the wings of a plane...

u.e.

Posted by: ulteriorepicure at February 9, 2005 04:54 PM

Flying on a commercial jet is generally safer than driving, so i would think that it would certainly be safer than driving on no sleep.

Posted by: Larry at February 9, 2005 05:54 PM

At least he isn't driving to new mexico on a 12-pack of Red Bull and a fifth of vodka.

The great thing about plane travel is, you can do that if you want. It'd be expensive, but the best things in life usually are.

Aren't they? :)

Posted by: Carey at February 10, 2005 08:22 AM