US warns against 'pure caffeine' after teen dies (Update)

US regulators on Friday warned against ingesting pure powdered caffeine, which is being sold in bulk over the Internet and is known to have killed at least one teenager.

"These products are essentially 100 percent caffeine. A single teaspoon of pure caffeine is roughly equivalent to the amount in 25 cups of coffee," the Food and Drug Administration said.

The FDA advised consumers "to avoid powdered pure caffeine" and warned parents that teenagers and young adults may be drawn to it for its perceived benefits.

"Pure caffeine is a powerful stimulant and very small amounts may cause accidental overdose," the FDA statement said.

Symptoms of overdose may include rapid heartbeat, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, stupor and disorientation.

"It is nearly impossible to accurately measure powdered pure caffeine with common kitchen measuring tools and you can easily consume a lethal amount," the FDA added.

US media reported earlier this month that an 18-year-old from Ohio died due to a caffeine overdose. Several bags of the powder were found in his home.

Consumer groups said regulators must take more action against the products.

"The overuse and misuse of caffeine in the food supply is creating a wild-west marketplace, and it's about time the sheriff noticed and did something," said the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Energy drinks raise new questions about caffeine's safety

Jun 24, 2014

Caffeine, which was extensively researched for possible links to birth defects in animals and cardiovascular disease in humans over 30 years ago and then exonerated, has become the focus of renewed concerns as caffeine-containing ...

Caffeine powder is recalled

May 21, 2007

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Spectrum Laboratory Products Inc. is recalling its Caffeine Citrated Powder due to potential potency issues.

Recommended for you

The hunt for botanicals

Dec 19, 2014

Herbal medicine can be a double-edged sword and should be more rigorously investigated for both its beneficial and harmful effects, say researchers writing in a special supplement of Science.

Mozambique decriminalises abortion to stem maternal deaths

Dec 19, 2014

Mozambique has passed a law permitting women to terminate unwanted pregnancies under specified conditions, a move hailed by activists in a country where clandestine abortions account for a large number of maternal deaths.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.