Histopathological and Neurotransmitter Changes in Albino Rats’ Brain after Consumption of Energy Drink in Egypt

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Forensic Medicine and Clinical Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, Egypt.

2 Department of Forensic Medicine and Clinical Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.

3 Department of pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, Egypt.


Background: Energy drinks are carbonated non-alcoholic beverages, used during exercise and
different sports for increasing physical strength and mental alertness. Recently they are widely
used by different ages of male and female. Visits to the emergency department due to energy
drinks consumption were doubled from 2007 to 2011. Most of Energy drinks have attractive
names as to express the speed, power, and strength. Energy drinks have a lot of ingredients and
some of them are not approved by the food and drug administration (FDA). Methods: A total of
eighty adult albino rats were divided randomly into four groups (20 per each). Control group:
not exposed to any treatment and received tap water. Second, third and fourth group received a
dose of (3.8ml\100g) of body weight for 3 weeks orally of three different energy drinks brands
available in Egyptian markets (Power horse, Red bull, Sting) respectively. Results: Our results
concerning energy drinks effects on brain disclosed significant increase of stimulant
neurotransmitters of norepinephrine and dopamine with significant decrease of inhibitory
neurotransmitter of Gamma-aminobutyric acid in response to high dose of energy drinks, which
were consistent with findings of histopathological examination that showed severe degenerative
changes and necrosis of neural cells of the brain on the cerebral cortex and hippocampus
neurons, indicating toxic effect of energy drinks on neurons of the brain. Conclusion: Energy
drinks consumption in high dose had marked hyper stimulating toxic effects on brain stimulatory
neurotransmitters and degeneration of neurons in different regions of the brain.
Received in original form: 6 March 2023 Accepted in a final form: 29 June 2023