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Watch the caffeine intake from your dietary supplement

| Updated on April 27, 2018

Just half a cup or a single teaspoon could add up to 20-28 cups of coffee, a lethal dose

The US Food and Drug Administration has taken measures to protect consumers from the dangers of highly concentrated and pure caffeine products. These products present a significant public health threat because of the high risk that they will be erroneously used at excessive, potentially dangerous doses.

Highly concentrated and pure caffeine, often sold in bulk packages, has been linked to at least two deaths in otherwise healthy individuals. The agency has issued a new guidance to clarify that dietary supplements containing pure or highly concentrated caffeine in powder or liquid forms are considered unlawful when sold in bulk quantities directly to consumers.

“We know these products are sometimes being used in potentially dangerous ways. For example, teenagers, for a perceived energy kick, sometimes mix dangerously high amounts of super-concentrated caffeine into workout cocktails. The amounts used can too easily become deceptively high because of the super-concentrated forms and bulk packaging in which the caffeine is being sold,” said Scott Gottlieb, FDA commissioner.

A half cup of a highly concentrated liquid caffeine can contain approximately 2,000 mg of caffeine and just a single teaspoon of a powdered pure caffeine product can contain approximately 3,200 mg of caffeine. This is equivalent to about 20 to 28 cups of coffee, a potentially toxic dose of caffeine.

In fact, less than two tablespoons of some formulations of powdered, pure caffeine can be deadly to most adults, while even smaller amounts can be life threatening to children. Risk of overuse and misuse is high when highly concentrated caffeine is sold in bulk quantities, and consumers are expected to measure a very small, precise recommended serving. Regardless of whether the product contains a warning label, such products present a significant and unreasonable risk of illness or injury to the consumer.

Source: USFDA

Published on April 27, 2018

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