Random thoughts on the world's mysteries

Friday, May 21, 2010

Red Bull****

We've all seen the cute commercials with the memorable tag line: "Red Bull gives you wings!" But did you know that the famed energy drink Red Bull -- the most popular energy drink in the world -- has been banned by Denmark and France?

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.

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.
Alas, these allegations contain a lot of Red Bullcrap.

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.

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About Me

I'm a Democrat. That means my goal is to enslave humanity beneath the spike-heel boot of Bolshevism. We, the elite, the few, shall one day rule the planet. Until then, we gather in secret, sacrificing goats, devouring newborns, studying the ancient Goetic rites, and luring unsuspecting youths into the evil and mysterious worship of the Mighty Satan. Soon, soon, all humanity shall tremble at the supernatural power of our Dark Lord, and the puling, putrid, pious partisans of the pretender from Palestine (who died because he was weak and stupid) shall be consigned to the ovens and used to feed our dogs.