Caffeine powder concerns

Awareness is key to youth and caffeine.

Food safety isn’t just about bacteria, virus, fungus and parasites getting into our food. There are also chemical and physical contaminants of which we should be aware. Chemicals and additives to our food can also lead to many problems, including possible death.

The news recently reported that two young men in the United States died after ingesting pure caffeine powder. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) met with the parents of these men as they delivered a petition asking the agency to ban the sale of caffeine powder. Michael Landa, Director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition blogged after the meeting that the FDA shared the hopes of those parents that families will be spared such a loss. He also mentioned the consumer advisory on the dangers of pure caffeine that was issued by the FDA last summer.

Food Safety News reports that on the issue of caffeine consumption and youth, the United States is not the only country with these concerns. Research from the National Food Institute at the Technical University of Denmark found that when children ages 10-14 ingest the popular caffeinated energy drinks, 20 percent are consuming too much caffeine. If youth combine other caffeine products, such as chocolate or cola, 30 percent of adolescents consume too much.

Many youth hope that with increased caffeine consumption their concentration levels and athletic performance will increase, as well as weight loss. But caffeine at high levels can have side effects such as insomnia, irritability, anxiety, heart palpitations, nervousness and in the situations of the two young men, even death. Many parents may not be aware of the side effects of these energy drinks and that children should use moderation or abstinence

Be watchful of new information that may be coming about the dangers of caffeine powder. Michigan State University Extension recommends making healthy choices for your health and safety. If you would like more information about food safety, contact your local MSU Extension office or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3463).

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