Alcohol, Author Interviews, Mental Health Research / 21.08.2018 Interview with: “Energy drink” by joelklal is licensed under CC BY 2.0Barbara D. Fontana Laboratory of Experimental Neuropsychobiology, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Natural and Exact Sciences Center Graduate Program in Biological Sciences Toxicological Biochemistry, Federal University of Santa Maria, Santa Maria, Brazil What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Our research group has been working with taurine and alcohol association for a long time. The background for this study is around increased consumption of molecules present in energy drinks frequently used as mixers for alcoholic beverages. Taurine is one of the most abundant molecules found in energetic drinks and has a neuromodulatory role in brain. In this context, we explore the effects of taurine associated to alcohol. Thus, as result we observed that this association exacerbate risky choices and reduces social cohesion in zebrafish, having a negative impact in social and fear-related behavior. (more…)
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Sleep Disorders / 05.11.2015 Interview with: Mike C Parent, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Counseling Psychology Texas Tech University Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Parent: There is some research out there on energy drinks, and we know a few things about them. For instance, although the drinks are marketed as though they are for extreme sports athletes, most people who drink them are not athletes. It seems as though drinking them makes some men feel as though they are a part of that extreme sports culture, without even needing to participate in the sports, though. The other part was that, clinically, you would be amazed at how many young men present at student counseling centers and university medical centers with "sleep problems." Then, when you ask them about what they eat and drink during a day, it turns out that some of them are guzzling half a dozen of these drinks a day, or drinking them at night, totally unaware of the extremely high caffeine content. It's true that energy drinks can help people focus a but better or work out a bit harder--but that's because the active ingredient is caffeine. In this research, we aimed to marry together those two lines of work--how does wanting to be more masculine impact energy drink use, and what consequences might energy drink use have for something as basic as sleep hygiene? (more…)