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Street-Sale Caffeinated Energy Drinks Posing Danger …Fmr. LMHRA Boss Sumo Reveals

The former Managing Director of the Liberia Medicines and Health Regulatory Authority (LMHRA), Dr. David Sumo is notifying the public about the looming danger of caffeinated energy drinks being sold on the streets.
Dr. Sumo, who is one of Liberia’s best pharmacists, advised that the proliferation of such energy drinks sold by street peddlers needs to be regulated.
He noted that research has found that the health risks associated with energy drink consumption are primarily related to their caffeine content.
“These days, our streets are flooded with the increasing waves of unregulated street selling of caffeinated energy drinks; young boys and girls are usually seen between moving vehicles and the sidewalks with varieties of brands of energy drinks for sale,” Dr. Sumo explained.
According to him, it is a deadly potential weapon that if left to thrive in the population unregulated and as it currently is, there will be a continue loss of precious lives of very important members of the society.
Pharmacist Sumo who earned a PhD in Pharmacy and Medicine has also been a medical practitioner for many years explained the need for a policy development and enforcement to regulate and control the sale and advertisement of energy drinks in Liberia.
On his official Facebook page, Dr. Sumo revealed that some, if not most, of these energy drinks are usually near to expire or have already expired before finding their way into the open market at very low cost.
Dr. Sumo, who has been critical when it comes to fighting fake, expired or counterfeit drugs or drinks and other harmful substances on the Liberian market disclosed that people of various ages, young and old while some with pre-existing conditions including hypertension and diabetes are all seen consuming between two to three servings of those dangerous highly caffeine concentrated caned-drinks on a daily basis as a means of replacing lost energy.
Speaking on some of the potential risks associated with energy drinks consumption, Pharmacist Sumo said caffeine overdose lead to a number of symptoms, including palpitations, high blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, convulsions and, in some cases, even death.
The former LMHRA boss pointed out that perhaps this is one of the contributing factors to the increase cases of stroke among young people in Liberia nowadays.
He stressed that one of the risks associated with huge consumption of energy drinks could be type-two diabetes; as high consumption of caffeine reduces insulin sensitivity; adding that this is another growing health problem in the Liberian society.
The former LMHRA Managing Director said the danger associated with the huge consumption of expired energy drinks could lead to late miscarriages, low birth-weight and stillbirths in pregnant women; adding that this could also be caused by a call for cushion among young underprivileged women of child bearing ages.
According to him, research has also shown that energy drinks also contain a variety of other ingredients, such as guarana and that though the effect of long-term regular consumption of the combination of the substances in energy drinks is unknown, it could be harmful.
Meanwhile, pharmacists Sumo is calling on the authorities responsible to curtail this situation like the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Ministry of Health and others to help create a prevention awareness to abolish or stop young people and on how to avoid the use of mixing energy drinks with alcohol.
He said the increase practice of mixing energy drinks with alcohol as often seen in drinking spots around Monrovia, also carries risks and young people specifically are urged to stop.
Mr. Sumo disclosed that research shows that the consumption of high amounts of caffeine reduces drowsiness without diminishing the effects of alcohol, resulting in “wide awake drunkenness.”
“Therefore, there is the risk that people will engage in risky and dangerous behavior such as violence or sexual assault, as the mixing of alcohol and caffeine can lead to a loss of inhibition,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sumo has proffered several ideas that could be transfused into policies that could help the government and its people among which is that an evidence-based, upper limit for the amount of caffeine be allowed in a single serving of any drink.
He also recommended that there should be restrictions in sales of energy drinks to children, adolescents and that proper education awareness is provided to healthcare providers to recognize caffeine intoxication, withdrawal and dependence.

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