Mom fitted with pacemaker at age 32 says she used to drink 6 energy drinks per day

A mother of three is speaking out about the potential dangers of consuming energy drinksafter she began suffering from blackouts and was fitted with a pacemaker at age 32. Samantha Sharpe, of Leicester, U.K., said at her worst she was consuming up to six cans a day of the sugary caffeinated beverages.

“In 2014 I was drinking five or six a day until I had the pacemaker fitted in February 2018,” she told

Samantha Sharpe said she went to the doctor after she started experiencing blackouts, and that he found a blockage in her heart.

Samantha Sharpe said she went to the doctor after she started experiencing blackouts, and that he found a blockage in her heart. (BPM Media)


She said the drinks, which she used to stay alert during work, made her heart beat faster and caused palpitations but then she would crash, causing her to reach for another one.

“It would give me headaches, I’d be grumpy, and I’d need another one to keep me going,” she told the news outlet. “I wouldn’t sleep and I had an overwhelming feeling of doom when trying to sleep.”

She eventually went to the doctor, who reportedly diagnosed her with a blockage in her heart, and she was given a pacemaker. She also suffered kidney stones and was allegedly warned about developing diabetes as a result of the amount of sugar she was consuming. While she said her doctors could not directly blame the energy drinks for her heart issues, she said she hasn’t had any issues since quitting the drinks.

“I don’t black out anymore and I can’t feel my heart messing up anymore,” she told “My heart used to skip beats.”

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has warned against consuming large amounts of energy drinks over concerns about caffeine content, which can cause serious heart and blood vessel issues including heart rhythm disturbances and increases in heart rate and blood pressure.

It can also be associated with anxiety, sleep issues, digestive problems and dehydration.

Sharpe, who has to return to the doctor every six months, said she wants to share her story as a cautionary tale for others.

Long-term coffee consumption, caffeine metabolism genetics, and risk of cardiovascular disease: a prospective analysis of up to 347,077 individuals and 8368 cases



Coffee is one of the most widely consumed stimulants worldwide and is generally considered to be safe or even beneficial for health. However, increased risk of myocardial infarction and hypertension has been suggested for individuals who carry a functional variant at cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2), which makes them less effective at metabolizing caffeine.


The aim of this study was to examine if the CYP1A2 genotype or a genetic score for caffeine metabolism (caffeine-GS) modifies the association between habitual coffee consumption and the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).


Genetic data and information on habitual coffee intake and relevant covariates were available for 347,077 individuals in the UK Biobank, including 8368 incident CVD cases. We used logistic regression to test for the association between coffee intake and CVD risk, and whether the association varies with CYP1A2 genotype or caffeine-GS.


The association between habitual coffee intake and CVD risk was nonlinear, and, compared with participants drinking 1–2 cups/day, the risk of CVD was elevated for nondrinkers, drinkers of decaffeinated coffee, and those who reported drinking >6 cups/day (increase in odds by 11%, 7%, and 22%, respectively, P-curvature = 0.013). CYP1A2 genotype and caffeine-GS were not associated with CVD (P ≥ 0.22 for all comparisons). There was no evidence for an interaction between the CYP1A2 genotype or caffeine-GS and coffee intake with respect to risk of CVD (P ≥ 0.53).


Heavy coffee consumption was associated with a modest increase in CVD risk, but this association was unaffected by genetic variants influencing caffeine metabolism.

Another Tragedy Resulting from Energy Drinks

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Dakota is OK now, but I just wanted to warn parents about energy drinks.

Dakota (age 15) had a Bang today for the first time. His dad and I were in St. Joe, and Dakota called us saying that he didn’t feel right. He was dizzy, shaky, sweaty, had trouble walking, and felt like his heart was beating really hard.

We called his aunt Katie to go check on him and she decided to take him to the ER. After a while the effects slowly started to wear off and he luckily started feeling better. It appears he had a caffeine overdose.

One of the nurses told us that Bang has almost twice the caffeine as a Monster. It advertises that it’s fat free and has no sugar which makes you think that maybe it’s not so bad. The amount of caffeine is not listed in the nutritional facts. In an area toward the bottom of the can is a caffeine warning that says it has 300 mg of caffeine that a lot of people won’t notice at first glance.

On the way home from the hospital, Dakota told us that he had been afraid that he was having a heart attack.

We are so grateful that everything turned out fine for Dakota, but another kid might not get so lucky. One thing we know for sure is that Dakota won’t be having another energy drink again and he agrees.  

–Tishia Mackey, Dakota’s Mom


4th Grader Attempts to buy Energy Drink

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) – MQT Nutrition is warning parents about the dangers of a popular energy drink called “Bang.” Recently, a fourth-grader tried buying one of the drinks, but MQT Nutrition Manager, Ellie Olsen, didn’t sell it to him due to the high amount of caffeine.

Each can contains 300 milligrams of caffeine, way more than the recommended amount for children. Now, the shop is hoping that other local businesses stop selling the drinks to children, as they can have adverse effects on young hearts.

“They’re available at Wal-Mart, Meijer, the gas stations locally, but even at the big grocery stores the kids can check themselves out. So people just really have to be aware of how much caffeine is in them and how accessible they are for their children,” Olsen said.

MQT Nutrition refuses to sell these drinks to children unless they have a parent with them and are given the permission to do so.

The cans even have a warning label that says they are for people 18 and older. 

Four UFC fighters get six-month USADA suspensions over supplements

Ostarine has again popped up as the culprit in contaminated supplement cases involving UFC fighters, with four fighters accepting six-month suspensions, per the promotion’s anti-doping administrator.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) today announced settlements after out-of-competition test failures from Augusto Mendes (March 7, 2018), Marvin Vettori (August 24, 2018), Sean O’Malley (September 5 and December 8, 2018) and inaugural flyweight champ Nicco Montano (October 25, 2018).

All but one – Montano – is eligible to compete with their six-month terms retroactive to the date of their provisional suspensions.

Both O’Malley and Vettori took to social media to share their reactions.

“I’m freeeeee,” O’Malley tweeted. “July 6th I’m busting someone up.”

Ostarine is a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) that’s banned year round and is sold worldwide as a compound that mimics anabolic steroids. USADA has pushed legislators to outlaw supplements that contain ostarine amid several UFC positives.

Welterweight Tim Means, a longtime teammate of Montano, accepted a six-month term after linking his failed test to a commercial product. Heavyweight Josh Barnett successfully avoided a suspension when he documented his use; both are suing the supplement manufacturers.

USADA explained the delay in announcing the settlements as a consequence of the long results management process in tainted supplement cases.

It’s not the first time USADA has announced a group of settlements following the discovery of tainted supplements. One year ago, the anti-doping agency cut a deal with three Brazilian fighters after they took supplements from compounding pharmacies that allegedly sold products tainted with PEDs. Junior dos Santos was critical of the third-party firm for delaying his career.

USADA no longer announces potential anti-doping violations, instead waiting for a case – or cases – to be resolved. In Mendes’ case, news of his positive was publicly revealed because the anti-doping agency’s new policy hadn’t taken effect.

In the case of Vettori and O’Malley, both fighters announced they’d failed USADA tests and vowed to contest the results. O’Malley’s pair of test failures was treated as a single violation because the amount of ostarine in both samples was consistent with ingestion prior to his first positive.



Cesar Sayoc Blames Steroids for Prompting Him to Mail Pipe Bombs to Trump Critics

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(NEW YORK) — A Florida man who mailed crudely made pipe bombs to prominent critics of President Donald Trump said he abused steroids for over 40 years, an issue his lawyers say they’ll cite at sentencing.

Cesar Sayoc made the assertion in lengthy and rambling letters to a federal judge that were posted in his court case file Tuesday.

Sayoc, 57, pleaded guilty to explosives-related charges in March and faces a mandatory 10-year prison term and up to life in prison when he’s sentenced Aug. 5. His lawyers told the judge in a different letter that a psychiatrist with specialized knowledge of the effects steroids can have on mental health will compose a report on Sayoc’s extensive steroid use prior to that sentencing date.

He said he never intended to injure anyone when he mailed 16 rudimentary bombs to CNN offices and numerous Democrats, including former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, members of Congress and actor Robert De Niro.

Performance-enhancing drugs may increase risk of teen cocaine abuse, impair fertility

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Orlando, Fla. (April 8, 2019)–Performance-enhancing steroid use could increase the risk of cocaine use and addiction in teens, according to a new rodent study. The combination of these drugs could also impair fertility in young women. The research will be presented today at the American Physiological Society’s (APS) annual meeting at Experimental Biology 2019 in Orlando, Fla.

Athletes sometimes use anabolic steroids to boost performance. In addition to building muscle, performance-enhancing drugs have been found to affect mood and behavior, including risk-taking behavior. Previous research has shown that approximately one-third of young adults who use anabolic steroids also use cocaine. This rate is substantially higher than the roughly 5 percent of young adults who use cocaine but do not take anabolic steroids. Although there appears to be a link between anabolic steroid use and the tendency to use other addiction-forming drugs in adults, it has not been well-studied in adolescents.

Researchers from the University of Puerto Rico studied female rats, half of which were exposed to nandrolone, one of the anabolic steroids most commonly used by young adults. After 10 days of steroid exposure, the animals were divided into four groups:

  • One group was exposed to nandrolone only.
  • One group was exposed to nandrolone and cocaine.
  • One group was exposed to cocaine only.
  • A control group was exposed to neither nandrolone nor cocaine.

The researchers observed that the group exposed to nandrolone showed increased sensitivity to cocaine –called locomotor sensitization–than the other groups. The researchers also saw a reduction in ovary weight and the development of ovarian cysts–which can compromise fertility–in the nandrolone groups. The animals exposed to cocaine alone did not show the same level of drug-induced locomotor sensitization.

Exposure to androgens during adolescence “modifies the brain circuitry that regulates addictive behaviors, increasing the psychoactive properties of cocaine,” the researchers wrote. In addition, anabolic steroids are also detrimental to the female reproductive system and may reduce fertility. A similar outcome in humans could significantly increase the risk of cocaine addiction and negatively affect fertility in teen athletes who use performance-enhancing steroids.

Carlos Rivero, a graduate student at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, will present the poster “Nandrolone use during adolescence increases cocaine sensitization and impairs reproductive function in adult female rats” on Monday, April 8, in the Exhibit Hall-West of the Orlando County Convention Center.

Joshua and Kratom

My name is Heidy and this is my son Joshua.  He was 21 years old. Josh was a wonderful, loving and kind human being.  Joshua had so many hopes and dreams for his future. He wanted to see the world and experience so many things in life.

After high school Joshua went on to become a welder, he worked for his cousin at his custom muffler shop.  He did all of the welding and did an amazing job!  On his days off Josh loved to spend time writing rap and working out.  Working out became a huge part of Joshua’s life as well as watching his diet so he could build a muscular physique.  He was very dedicated and disciplined when it came to lifting weights.

At one point I sat down with josh and talked to him about all the time he was spending working out, I was worried it was taking up to much of his time and didn’t want to see my son only focusing on building his muscle and not enjoying all the things a 21 year old should be doing in life. 

 On August 24,2018 at 6:45 in the morning, I got the call that no mother should ever have to get. My son Joshua ended his life while on a dietary supplement called kratom. That day my life and my family’s life changed forever. I am trapped in a nightmare that I will never be able to escape from all because of a plant based herbal supplement that Josh was taking for energy to help him lift weights to gain muscle. 

 Joshua started taking kratom the summer of 2017.  Since my sons passing I have done my research on kratom and it is linked to 44 deaths and rising.  I have talked to mothers and family members who have lost loved ones due to kratom.  People are dying from heart attacks and over doses and also taking there lives while on kratom.  Kratom is not regulated by the FDA and is very addictive. 


Kratom is being advertised for energy, pain relief, mind cognizance, mood enhancer, alternative to opioids and treatment for opioid withdrawal etc.. What they are not telling you about, are all of the side effects that come with kratom use such as liver damage, seizures, insomnia, psychosis, heart attack, hallucinations, itching, stroke, suicidal thoughts, brain swelling, aggression, delusions, thyroid problems, hemorrhagic pulmonary edema and death etc…and how addictive this so called natural supplement is. 

Please if I can share anything with you let me share this… my son was such a happy sound-minded person he just got caught up in wanting to look his best and unfortunately came across kratom thinking it would help him meet his goals.  If there is something you would like to take please make sure it is FDA approved!



Don’t risk your health it’s not worth it.  I can tell you if Joshua would have thought that this could be harmful, he would have never of taken it.  Sadly, now me and my family have to live a life without my son and it is very heartbreaking. Don’t put your family through what my family has had to go through because a life without you would break your family’s heart!

Dallas man admits role in importing steroids from Asia, selling them across U.S.

A Dallas man admitted this week to taking part in a scheme to import illegal steroids from Asia and sell them throughout the United States.

Christopher Crotty, 34, pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to one count of possession of steroids with intent to distribute.

Authorities said Ryan Conor Savage, 36, of Fort Worth began importing steroids in 2015 and Crotty joined the partnership in early 2017. Savage pleaded guilty to the same charge in December.

The anabolic steroids came from Asia and were repackaged after they were imported to the U.S. They were then mailed to customers.

Crotty told investigators that he was involved in collecting payment for the steroids via wire transfer. He also admitted to buying steroids for his personal use and selling them to people he knew.

The pair had about 40,000 doses of steroids when authorities searched Crotty’s apartment in February 2018, the Department of Justice said.

A sentencing hearing for Savage is scheduled for April 22, and Crotty is set to be sentenced Aug. 8. Each faces up to 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

“Illicit steroids come with serious health risks, from infection to depression to many other negative side-effects,” U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox said in a statement. “The Northern District of Texas is committed to working with the DEA and our other partners to hold dealers accountable for facilitating doping.”


Stimulants found in dietary supplements

Many dietary supplements contain ingredients that are known stimulants or have stimulant-like effects. That is, they can raise heart rate and blood pressure and otherwise increase nervous system activity, with potentially harmful effects, especially if used before or during exercise. One of the best ways a consumer can control his or her intake of stimulants is to read the Supplement Facts panel and other information on the labels and websites of dietary supplement products. However, that means being able to recognize ingredients that can act as stimulants. Another way is to recognize that supplements marketed for certain purposes are more likely to contain stimulants. For example, pre-workout, sexual enhancement, and weight-loss supplements are more likely to contain stimulants.

Operation Supplement Safety (OPSS) has prepared this list to help you determine whether your dietary supplements contain such ingredients. This is NOT a complete list, but new entries will be added as they are identified as having stimulant effects.

We have not included stimulants in drugs that have been approved by FDA for prescription use (such as modafinil [for promoting wakefulness or amphetamines for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder], Adderall, and Dexadrine) or over-the-counter sale (such as nasal decongestants with pseudoephedrine) or those that are considered “controlled substances” (such as cocaine and MDMA), as none of these substances are legal for use in dietary supplements.

Stimulants Found in Dietary Supplements
BMPEA (and common synonyms found on labels)*
  • 1-amino-2-phenylpropane
  • ß-methylphenethylamine
  • 1-phenyl-1-methyl-2-aminoethane
  • β-methylphenylethylamine
  • 2- phenyl-1-propanamine
  • beta-methylphenethylamine
  • 2-phenylpropan-1-amine
  • beta-methylbenzeneethanamine
  • 2-phenylpropylamine
  • beta-phenylpropylamine
  • alpha-benzylethylamine
  • R-beta-methylphenethylamine
  • ß-MePEA
  • R-beta-methylphenethylamine HCl
Caffeine and sources of caffeine
  • 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine
  • Kola nut
  • Methylxanthine
  • Cocoa (cacao, Theobroma cacao)
  • Tea (Camellia sinensis; black, Chinese, green, and oolong)
  • Coffee/Coffea (arabica, canephora, etc.)
  • Trimethylxanthine
  • Green coffee bean
  • Xanthine
  • Guarana (Paullinia cupana)
  • Yerba maté (maté; Ilex paraguariensis)
DMAA (and common synonyms found on labels)*
  • 1,3-dimethylamylamine
  • Forthan/Forthane
  • 1,3-dimethylpentylamine
  • Fouramin
  • 2-amino-4-methylhexane
  • Geranamine (Proviant™)
  • 2-hexanamine,4-methyl-(9Cl)
  • GeranaX
  • 4-methyl-2-hexanamine
  • Geranium (extract, flower, oil, stems and leaves, etc.)
  • 4-methyl-2-hexylamine
  • Metexaminum/Methexaminum
  • 4-methylhexan-2-amine
  • Methylhexanamine/Methylhexaneamine (MHA)
  • Dimethylamylamine
  • Pelargonium (graveolens, etc.)
  • Floradrene
  • Pentylamine
  • Dimethylpentylamine (DMP)
DMBA (and common synonyms found on labels)*
  • 1,3-dimethylbutylamine
  • 4-methylpentane-2-amine
  • 2-amino-4-methylpentane
  • AMP citrate
  • 4-amino-2-methylpentane
  • Amperall
  • 4-amino-2-methylpentane citrate
  • Dimethylbutylamine
  • 4-amino-2-pentanamine
  • Methylpentane
  • 4-AMP
  • Pentergy
  • 4-methyl-2-pentamine
Ephedra and sources of ephedra alkaloids/analogs*
  • Ephedrine
  • Ma huang
  • Ephedra sinica
  • Ephedra intermedia
  • Ephedra equisentina
Other stimulants
  • Phenethylamines/Phenylethylamines
    • PEA, including β-, B-, beta-, methyl-, N,alpha-diethyl-, N-methyl-, N,N-dimethyl-B-, N,N-Diethyl-B-, etc.
    • DEPEA (diethyl-phenylethylamine)
    • N,α-DEPEA (N,α-diethyl-phenylethylamine)
    • N-MePEA (N-methylphenethylamine)
  • Betaphrine (Isopropylnorsynephrine, isopropyloctopamine)*
  • DMHA (1,5-dimethylhexylamine, 2-aminoisoheptane, 2-amino-6-methylheptane, octodrine)
  • Phenpromethamine
  • Higenamine (norcoclaurine)
  • Rauwolscine (α-yohimbine)
  • Hordenine
  • Theobromine
  • N,N-dimethyltyramine
  • Yoko (Paullinia yoko)  Information is provided by Operation Supplement Safety (OPSS).  OPSS is now a DoD-wide effort, including partnerships with other government and professional organizations, to provide evidence-based, up-to-date information on dietary supplements. OPSS educates service members and retirees, their family members, leaders, healthcare providers, and DoD civilians about dietary supplements and gives them tools to be informed supplement users—or non-users.