Pure Caffeine Powder: What You Need to Know
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It's important for consumers and especially parents to learn all they can about the pure caffeine powder that has been linked to the recent death of an Ohio teenager.
The Food and Drug Administration is considering regulatory action pending its investigation into the death of 18-year-old Logan Stiner, who died on May 27 after consuming the powder. In the meantime, it is recommending that consumers avoid the substance.
"One of the important aspects of this tragedy is that it shines a light on how caffeine is overused and misused in the entire food supply," Jim O'Hara, health promotion policy director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, told Yahoo Health. "Caffeine is being introduced in an indiscriminate fashion and is causing the potential for serious health risks, especially for young people."
Caffeine-enhanced products such as energy drinks have come under intense scrutiny during the past several years after a number of reported deaths were linked to overconsumption. The FDA says pure caffeine powder is more potent and dangerous than energy drinks, so here are five things to know to keep yourself or your children safe.
1. It is popular among teens and young adults.
"Parents need to know that young people may be attracted to powdered caffeine products," FDA spokesperson Jennifer Dooren told Yahoo Health in an email. The pure caffeine is often taken before a workout or practice for an extra boost. Partygoers take it to combat the depressant effects of alcohol or marijuana. It's also popular among college students as a way to help stay alert during late-night study sessions.
2. It is unregulated, easy to buy, and inexpensive.
Caffeine powder is considered a dietary supplement, so it is not subject to FDA regulations that other caffeine products are. The powder is sold in bulk almost exclusively on the Internet and is cheaper than other caffeinated products. One company offers a 100-gram shipment (the amount of caffeine in roughly 385 tall servings of Starbucks coffee) for $12. And it's actually possible to buy a whopping 20 kilograms of the powder, which is the same amount of caffeine in 76,923 tall servings of Starbucks coffee.