Too much caffeine led to heart problems that killed SC teen

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16 May, 2017

Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said the the high school student had consumed multiple caffeinated drinks that day, including a large diet Mountain Dew, a cafe latte and some kind of energy drink, our affiliate WLTX in Columbia, SC reports.

Schoolmates at Spring Hill High had said the 16-year-old had "chugged" the large bottle of energy drink before becoming ill during a lesson.

Watts said the final cause of death was due to a caffeine-induced cardiac event causing a probable arrhythmia. "Parents please talk to your kids about the dangers of these energy drinks", said Davis' father, Sean Cripe.

In addition to being healthy, Davis was known among friends and classmates for advocating against using drugs and alcohol, Watts said. 'It was so much caffeine at the time of his death, that it caused his arrhythmia'.

American medical research group the Mayo Clinic say on its website that "up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults".

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Watts did not specify which energy drinks were consumed, but in general, a 24-ounce energy drink can contain as much as 500 milligrams of caffeine.

The autopsy showed no "unfounded" or "undiagnosed heart condition", said Watts, who was careful not to call Davis' death a caffeine overdose. But it wasn't a auto crash that took his life, instead it was an energy drink.I stand before you as a broken-hearted father and hope that something good can come from this.

For example, while plain coffee is rich in antioxidants which reduce the harmful effects of caffeine, creative coffee concoctions like a café latte or energy drinks, which have artificial sweeteners, elevated sugar content and other stimulants can pose health threats.

"It wasn't a vehicle crash that took his life", he said of his son. He added that Davis had "a previous history of drinking" caffeinated beverages but nothing that his family considered to be an addiction. "Our objective here today is to let people know, especially our young kids in school, that these drinks can be risky, and be very careful with how you use them, and how many you drink on a daily basis".


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