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Synthetic caffeine supplement elicits concern from FDA

Some Montana residents may have heard about supplements that contains powdered caffeine, which a form of the drug some 80 percent of Americans reportedly consume each day with their coffee. Except that powdered caffeine does not occur naturally and is much more potent and volatile than coffee's caffeine, allegedly. Thus, the supplement's potential for abuse has provoked alarm among federal regulators, authorities reported on Dec. 29

The limitation of power with which the FDA can regulate the supplement industry has rendered the agency largely impotent with regard to curbing powdered caffeine potential for abuse and consequent health-related ramifications. Authorities report that two teaspoons of powdered caffeine, as distributed in supplements, has proven to be a lethal dose. Yet, the quantity and potency of powdered caffeine continue to go unregulated in supplement form, officials stated.

The doses recommended by sellers reportedly are mere fractions of a teaspoon, which are largely impractical and at any rate difficult for individuals to measure correctly, according to the FDA .The agency recently issued on its website a warning about the potential adverse effects of powdered caffeine, which the supplement purportedly contains in sizable quantities. To demonstrate this, the FDA cites provincial news stories from around the nation reporting on individuals, young adults and teenagers in many cases, who have administered to themselves lethal doses of the supplement without knowing it.

Individuals injured by a supplement company or any other business that neglects to inform consumers of its product about known dangers may seek to establish a course of action in response. It may benefit victims to retain a personal injury attorney whose practice includes product liability cases. By showing in civil court that the manufacturers of a supplement labeled or distributed their products negligently, victims may hold these parties liable for damages suffered in relation to the supplement.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "FDA Hands Tied in Powdered Caffeine Abuse Cases", Kimberly Leonard, December 29, 2014

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