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FDA Warns Against Powdered Caffeine Dangers

CAROLINE REN
Editor in Chief

Teenagers regularly consume caffeine through coffee, soda and other food products, but some turn to caffeine powder to boost energy, which is readily available for purchase online in bulk for comparatively low prices. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning after the overdose-induced death of an Ohio student in May 2014, according to MSN News.

According to USA Today, one serving of caffeine powder is one-sixteenth of a teaspoon because of its heavy concentration. However, most people do not possess the precise measuring tools needed to quantify the small amount and are likely unaware of the dangers of caffeine overdose. Extremely high levels of caffeine in the body can induce an irregular heartbeat or seizures, and in some cases, death.

“I think [the FDA] should act on restricting the dosage and right to purchase per person within different periods of time since ‘warnings’ rarely create much of an impact anyway. I definitely support enforcing higher restriction on its use,” senior Jessy Juanda said.

Up to 400 mg of caffeine per day for adults and 100 mg for adolescents is safe, according to the Mayo Clinic. A full teaspoon of caffeine powder contains around 3,200 mg of caffeine, according to the New York Post.
“Teenagers should not be intaking much caffeine anyway,” school nurse Anita Man said. “Caffeine is an addictive substance; the more you consume it, the more you crave it.”

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