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16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 4:47 pm
by whm1974
I just read this:
https://www.yahoo.com/news/teenager-die ... 33266.html
Good grief. I got lucky on this one, back when I was 17 I used to take caffeine pills 200mg each and down them with soda. I was take 1000mg a day or more plus whatever the soda had. And this was before energy drinks were on the market other than Jolt Cola.

It is amazing that when I look back at my youth I now realize I had close calls with death and didn't even know it at the time. Right now I'm glad I don't have any teenagers, I would be nagging at them all the time.

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 5:10 pm
by steelcity_ballin
There's no way that little amount killed him without a preexisting condition of some sort. The LD50 is like 80-100 cups of coffee. There's no way that as large diet soda, 1 energy drink, and 1 latte is even close to that.

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 5:15 pm
by Waco
steelcity_ballin wrote:
There's no way that little amount killed him without a preexisting condition of some sort. The LD50 is like 80-100 cups of coffee. There's no way that as large diet soda, 1 energy drink, and 1 latte is even close to that.

I was about to say the same thing - there was something else wrong for 500 mg to have caused death.

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 5:17 pm
by Heiwashin
steelcity_ballin wrote:
There's no way that little amount killed him without a preexisting condition of some sort.


That usually is the case, but it's not as scary so they casually leave those details out.

"Energy drinks have also been linked to “caffeine intoxication”, according to research published in the International Journal of Health Sciences in 2015.
Symptoms include anxiety, insomnia, "

Oh really. You mean coffee makes you stay awake. The horror. I heard you can suffocate from dihydrogen monoxide.

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 5:23 pm
by whm1974
Now you guys have mention this, I would have to agree with you since I was taking over twice as much as this kid was almost every day.

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 5:25 pm
by Captain Ned
Waco wrote:
steelcity_ballin wrote:
There's no way that little amount killed him without a preexisting condition of some sort. The LD50 is like 80-100 cups of coffee. There's no way that as large diet soda, 1 energy drink, and 1 latte is even close to that.
I was about to say the same thing - there was something else wrong for 500 mg to have caused death.

Read the article more closely. It wasn't the total dose, it was the rapidity with which it was consumed.

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 5:26 pm
by ludi
"a large Mountain Dew, a McDonalds latte, and an energy drink"

The article isn't very clear on what a short period of time would be, but it sounds like he shotgunned the whole lot. I wonder if the coroner's findings accounted for the B-vitamin overdose in the energy drink?

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 5:28 pm
by Chrispy_
That was an existing heart condition that was over-stressed by an unusually large dose of caffeine, almost certain of that. You read about it all the time where someone who was young had an unexpected heart attack - school exams, sports, sex, even being scared to death in the movies.

Kid's diet was mountain dew, McDonalds and Energy drinks; Pretty sure diabetes & heart disease come with that territory.

I guess caffeine in higher doses is not completely risk free, but simply leaving your house every morning is more statistically dangerous.

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 5:34 pm
by superjawes
This sounds like a wording error. The quote from the coroner is: "caffeine-induced cardiac event causing a probable arrhythmia." (This is referenced in the Yahoo article and additional articles turning up from a Google search.)

So "overdose" does not sound like the correct wording. It may be fair to say that this teen died because he ingested too much caffeine, but that assessment requires some clarification regarding any pre-existing condition. (I am including the possibility that the pre-existing condition was caused by repeated high-caffeine intake.)

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 5:40 pm
by Heiwashin
It's simple really. It's very hot to take something that people deal with on a daily basis and link it to causing death. It draws viewers hard. And I've met a lot of people that feel they owe something to a radio show, tv show, site, etc., that offered crackpot advice about health because they feel it helped their life.

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 5:42 pm
by whm1974
ludi wrote:
"a large Mountain Dew, a McDonalds latte, and an energy drink"

The article isn't very clear on what a short period of time would be, but it sounds like he shotgunned the whole lot. I wonder if the coroner's findings accounted for the B-vitamin overdose in the energy drink?

Just how much Vitamin B is there in energy drinks?

Chrispy_ wrote:
That was an existing heart condition that was over-stressed by an unusually large dose of caffeine, almost certain of that. You read about it all the time where someone who was young had an unexpected heart attack - school exams, sports, sex, even being scared to death in the movies.

Kid's diet was mountain dew, McDonalds and Energy drinks; Pretty sure diabetes & heart disease come with that territory.

I guess caffeine in higher doses is not completely risk free, but simply leaving your house every morning is more statistically dangerous.

Looks like I should have given this more thought before I created this thread. The LD50 of caffeine is very high after all, and I was consuming over twice much as the kid was and drinking soda with it as well.

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 5:48 pm
by superjawes
Heiwashin wrote:
It's simple really. It's very hot to take something that people deal with on a daily basis and link it to causing death. It draws viewers hard. And I've met a lot of people that feel they owe something to a radio show, tv show, site, etc., that offered crackpot advice about health because they feel it helped their life.

Not to rant/derail the thread...buuuut...

Yesterday, I saw a Fortune article with the title "Millennials are Killing Department Stores". First, this ticked me off because it's the same "blame millennials for everything" nonsense that is popular these days, but I went on to read the article...and it mentioned millennials once. The rest of the article was pretty well reasoned in laying out out EVERYTHING that has been killing department stores for decades. So Fortune literally just made that the headline to get attention.

/rant

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 5:53 pm
by Starfalcon
When I was younger, i would drink 2-3 2L RC colas a day. I seriously doubt someone would die from a few things without an underlying heart problem, or he may have been up all night pounding them, and followed that with then for his breakfast.

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 5:56 pm
by SoM
i drink around 20 cups, should i slow down ? it's the only thing i drink

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 6:01 pm
by whm1974
SoM wrote:
i drink around 20 cups, should i slow down ? it's the only thing i drink

I'm no doctor, but I will say yes. Oh be prepared for the massive headaches once you start cutting way back on the coffee.

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 6:21 pm
by Waco
Captain Ned wrote:
Waco wrote:
steelcity_ballin wrote:
There's no way that little amount killed him without a preexisting condition of some sort. The LD50 is like 80-100 cups of coffee. There's no way that as large diet soda, 1 energy drink, and 1 latte is even close to that.
I was about to say the same thing - there was something else wrong for 500 mg to have caused death.

Read the article more closely. It wasn't the total dose, it was the rapidity with which it was consumed.

500 mg over a short period of time still isn't that dangerous. That's barely over a single 10 Hour Energy shot, and you can consume them in about 2 seconds with an absorption rate probably far higher than the large quantity of liquid this teen ingested.

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:17 pm
by paulWTAMU
Even if that was taken within an hour...I'm pretty sure I've done worse (like washing down a caffeine pill or two with a 2 liter of diet coke, or eating a handful of plain espresso beans with mountain dew). There's *got* to be something else going on right?

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:34 pm
by Captain Ned
paulWTAMU wrote:
There's *got* to be something else going on right?

Short of a published autopsy report (not bloody likely) we'll never really know.

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:41 pm
by Waco
Captain Ned wrote:
paulWTAMU wrote:
There's *got* to be something else going on right?

Short of a published autopsy report (not bloody likely) we'll never really know.

Yep. But considering the amount isn't all that crazy, there has to be something.

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:49 pm
by Captain Ned
Waco wrote:
Yep. But considering the amount isn't all that crazy, there has to be something.

Whereas I focus not on the absolute blood level as the trigger, but the rate of rise of that blood level. Having a friend or two who work in the field, pharmacodynamics is far from a well-settled science. Since I doubt a 16YO has ever been on the EKG treadmill while drinking Dew and Energy shots, we're all just pissing in the wind, as will be the ME short of gross physical heart irregularities.

When I was a kid a baseball player for the local bottom-tier pseudo-college was at bat and took a pitch square on the breastbone. He was dead before he hit the ground and, back in the 1970s, there were no such things as automatic defibrillators. Lots of theories, but we didn't have a Quincy around who could pull an answer out of his arse (and, of course, to find the societal evil against which must be raged).

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Thu May 18, 2017 12:35 am
by The Egg
Captain Ned wrote:
Waco wrote:
Yep. But considering the amount isn't all that crazy, there has to be something.

Whereas I focus not on the absolute blood level as the trigger, but the rate of rise of that blood level. Having a friend or two who work in the field, pharmacodynamics is far from a well-settled science. Since I doubt a 16YO has ever been on the EKG treadmill while drinking Dew and Energy shots, we're all just pissing in the wind, as will be the ME short of gross physical heart irregularities

I'll admit that I had the first initial response as most, but on top of what you said, we're also assuming the report of what he consumed is accurate or complete. Since I doubt the kid fired off a list of everything he had in his dying breaths, it's very possible that he downed significantly more than what was assumed (say, another 2-3 of those mega 400mg shots, possibly more).

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Thu May 18, 2017 12:56 am
by ludi
whm1974 wrote:
Just how much Vitamin B is there in energy drinks?

You'll have to look up a particular brand if you want numbers, but B-vitamins are co-factors in cellular metabolism. Most energy drinks like to combine stimulants, sugar, and a large dose of B-vitamins to try and maximize the short term boost. B-vitamins are water soluble and can be excreted, but the short-term effects could be odd if a person was sensitive or already overdosed from consuming, say, energy drinks.

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Thu May 18, 2017 3:31 am
by Flying Fox
whm1974 wrote:
Looks like I should have given this more thought before I created this thread.

That pretty much applies to most of your threads, eh? Good advice for yourself. :P

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Thu May 18, 2017 6:28 am
by yogibbear
If this is at all true then I should have died ~500 times already. Honestly I'm sick of the media at this point. Last 6 years of media has been awful.

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Thu May 18, 2017 6:59 am
by whm1974
ludi wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
Just how much Vitamin B is there in energy drinks?

You'll have to look up a particular brand if you want numbers, but B-vitamins are co-factors in cellular metabolism. Most energy drinks like to combine stimulants, sugar, and a large dose of B-vitamins to try and maximize the short term boost. B-vitamins are water soluble and can be excreted, but the short-term effects could be odd if a person was sensitive or already overdosed from consuming, say, energy drinks.

I know sugar alone will kill you if consume enough of it in one setting, in fact I have heard the LD50 of sugar is way lower then caffeine. Even for a healthy person.

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Thu May 18, 2017 8:10 am
by just brew it!
Chrispy_ wrote:
Kid's diet was mountain dew, McDonalds and Energy drinks; Pretty sure diabetes & heart disease come with that territory.

Over time, maybe. I seriously doubt it would've done that much damage by age 16. Mountain Dew and junk food (and beer...) was essentially my diet too for many years, and I'm still here. :wink:

But yeah, there will always be a few outliers who have an undiagnosed pre-existing condition of some sort, whether it is a congenital heart defect, a hypersensitivity to specific substances, or something else.

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Thu May 18, 2017 8:22 am
by just brew it!
whm1974 wrote:
I know sugar alone will kill you if consume enough of it in one setting, in fact I have heard the LD50 of sugar is way lower then caffeine. Even for a healthy person.

Erm... what? That makes absolutely no frikkin' sense. Unless what you really mean is that the sugar from chugging ridiculous amounts of soda in a short period of time will kill you before the caffeine. (In reality, the hyper-hydration -- a.k.a. water intoxication -- would likely get you even before the sugar...)

LD50 for caffeine is on the order of 200 mg per kg of body weight. So a 75 kg adult would need to consume around 15 grams of pure caffeine to hit the LD50 threshold. There's more than 15 grams of sugar in a single Snickers bar.

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Thu May 18, 2017 8:34 am
by Glorious
JBI wrote:
There's more than 15 grams of sugar in a single Snickers bar.


There's more than that in a single can of Mountain Dew too. Like, a lot more than even a Snickers bar.

The amount of sugar in soda, particularly Mountain Dew, is staggering.

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Thu May 18, 2017 8:56 am
by just brew it!
Glorious wrote:
JBI wrote:
There's more than 15 grams of sugar in a single Snickers bar.

There's more than that in a single can of Mountain Dew too. Like, a lot more than even a Snickers bar.

The amount of sugar in soda, particularly Mountain Dew, is staggering.

Now that you mention it, yes. 10 cans of Mountain Dew is like scarfing down an entire POUND of sugar. Or to take the Snickers bar analogy a step further, just imagine that there are two entire Snickers bars' worth of sugar dissolved in every serving of Mountain Dew.

Re: 16 Y/o dies from caffeine overdose

Posted: Thu May 18, 2017 9:18 am
by Glorious
JBI wrote:
just imagine that there are two entire Snickers bars' worth of sugar dissolved in every serving of Mountain Dew.


I had a great science teacher in the seventh grade who made a bunch of very memorable comparisons exactly like that one, so it stuck with me.

Another one that stuck with me is this one:

1 glass of whole milk = the amount of fat in a McDonald's hamburger