The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued warning letters to five companies that are in the distribution business of pure powdered caffeine.
The agency briefed distributors that their products pose serious health risks to consumers.
The letters were published on Thursday and the companies that received them should reply within 15 business days.
The FDA targeted Nevada-based Hard Eight Nutrition LLC, Oregon-based Bridge City Bulk-Bridge City LLC, NorthCarolna-based SPN LLC, which sells its products via Smartpowders, Oregon-based Purebulk Inc, and California-based Kreativ Health Inc, which sells its products through Natural Food Supplements.
Pure caffeine powered is labeled as a dietary supplement, but the FDA argues that the substance may lead to serious illness and injury even if buyers consume it under the conditions listed on the label.
But since the agency doesn’t have the authority of removing the products from shelves, it tries to persuade producers and distributors to do so through various means.
In 2014, two young men died because of an overdose of caffeine powder. The FDA issued an advisory warning, but people continued to buy it. One of the victims was an 18-year-old teen from Ohio, while the other victim was a 24-year-old man from Georgia.
So, the FDA is concerned that pure powdered caffeine may be lethal.
According to doctors, a single teaspoon of the product has the same effect of 28 cups of coffee. But the packages of the products mentioned in the recent warning letters contain thousands of servings which may indeed pose a real risk to consumers.
Additionally, the servings cannot be accurately measured with regular kitchen tools so the difference between a safe and a toxic dose is minimal. The FDA cautioned that a teaspoon doesn’t allow users know just how much powder is in it. So, there’s a high chance of overdose.
Moreover, pure powdered caffeine can have serious side effects such as uncontrolled heart beat, heart attacks, seizures and even death when the dose is too high. But lower doses can also generate confusion, nausea, and diarrhea. And if the patient has a preexisting condition such as a heart disease the risk is even higher.
Pure powered caffeine is especially used by teens and young adults because it provides them with a rapid boost of energy. People take the product as it is or mixed in shakes or other drinks before they go to the gym or in an attempt to rein in weight gain.
Kreativ Health wrote the FDA a letter back promising to take the product off the shelves.
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