Red Bull is produced in Thailand; the company was founded by Chaleo Yoovidhya (who is Thai) and Dietrich Mateschitz (an Austrian). An increasing number of people view their product with suspicion. A widely-distributed email includes these frightening allegations:
FRANCE and DENMARK have just prohibited it as a cocktail of death, due to its vitamin components mixed with GLUCURONOLACTONE', a highly dangerous chemical, which was developed by the United States Department of Defense during the sixties to stimulate the moral of the troops based in VIETNAM, which acted like a hallucinogenic drug that calmed the stress of the war.Alas, these allegations contain a lot of Red Bullcrap.
But their effects in the organism were so devastating, that it was discontinued, because of the high index of cases of migraines, cerebral tumors and diseases of the liver that was evident in the soldiers who consumed it.
Glucuronolactone was not a Vietnam-era experimental drug; it is a natural chemical produced when the liver metabolizes glucose. The stuff's in your body right now -- all over your body, especially in and around your connective tissues.
Neither the Snopes site, nor Wikipedia, nor this humble site has been able to find any reliable citation proving the link either to Vietnam or to the creation of cerebral tumors. The Vietnam reference may have been inspired by the film Jacob's Ladder or the X-Files episode "Sleepless."
Some versions of the scare-mail rumor make reference to "An article in this months edition of the British Medical Journal." No such article exists.
It is true that Red Bull contains a lot of glucuronolactone -- some 250 times more than the normal amount of intake. Is it safe? I don't know. Nobody knows just what the stuff does.
So little research has been done on glucuronolactone (and most of it 50 years ago) that almost all information about it is mere rumor. Users generally believe it fights fatigue and increases well-being, but that could turn out to be bull, too.So why did France ban the stuff? Because Red Bull contains more caffeine than French law permits. Same story in Denmark.