Red Bull is the brand name of a canned soft drink that is marketed as an energy source and stimulant containing sugar, vitamin B, glucuronolactone, caffeine (around the same amount as in a cup of coffee) and a compound called taurine, which gives the drink its name.
In the early part of 2000, a number of people started questioning whether the drink was dangerous to human health, as there was a suggestion that one of its ingredients, glucuronolactone, was an artificial stimulant given to U S troops in Vietnam in the 1960s to boost morale.
It was said that the drug produced brain tumors and death in some of the soldiers, although there is no scientific evidence supporting this suggestion. However, in 2001, the drink was investigated by the Swedish National Food Administration after being connected to the deaths of three people.
Some experts are concerned about the inclusion of glucuronolactone and taurine in the drink. Glucuronolactone is a natural carbohydrate produced by the human metabolic system, but the amounts contained in each can of Red Bull are high enough to worry some people.
A recent study found that more testing was needed to assess the dangers of glucuronolactone and taurine, but many think that high quantities could be dangerous to people. Experts are also concerned about the levels of caffeine in the drink, especially
when it’s mixed with alcohol, as it often is.
The sale of Red Bull as a normal soft drink is now prohibited in Denmark, France and Norway