Major Components of Energy Drinks (Caffeine, Taurine, and Guarana) Exert Cytotoxic Effects on Human Neuronal SH-SY5Y Cells by Decreasing Reactive Oxygen Species Production
EDs and the concept of redox homeostasis. In an individual organism, homeostasis is required for healthy development and normal tissue functioning. In our daily life, one can be exposed to diverse sources of stress (endogenous and/or exogenous) able to impair the physiology of developing brains (e.g., during pregnancy, children, or adolescents). In these cases, our antioxidant defenses should maintain the homeostatic levels of ROS in order to avoid an oxidative stress scenario. Paradoxically, the relevant role of ROS in regulating cell proliferation and survival signaling pathways is already known. Therefore, an excessive antioxidant-derived redox imbalance (“antioxidative” stress) would also impair homeostasis, becoming as dangerous as oxidative stress itself. In our study, we show in vitro evidence that highlights the danger of energy drink consumption and how their potential cytotoxicity could be partially attributed to the excessive depletion of intracellular ROS and disruption of redox homeostasis, due to the combination of multiple components with antioxidant activity in these beverages.