The availability of caffeine powder is not a problem for anyone. It is easily accessible from online health stores or eBay or Amazon. Price varies according to the size of the container requested. For example, 40 grams may be purchased for $21.28, or bottles containing 100 tablets of 200mg may be acquired for as little as $5.70. Caffeine powder as a toxic drink is currently a widely circulated news item.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) the powdered substance is 100 percent caffeine. One teaspoon of this powder is identical to the volume contained in 25 cups of regular coffee. The FDA advises using household measuring devices to measure out a safe dose of the powder. Without the use of common kitchen measuring devices, accurate proportions may not be attainable, easily allowing someone to ingest a lethal dose.
Some labels may provide explanations and risks in the fine print, advising consumers to follow guidelines printed in the description on the bottle or container. Brands also mention failure to follow instructions may cause serious injury or death. Individuals are advised to use precise measurements. The use of micro scales may be the safest method of dispensing powdered caffeine. As a rule five to 10 grams is deemed a toxic dose for adults. A lethal amount for children is approximately three grams.
Currently a warning has been released by the FDA advising people to avoid powdered caffeine, primarily individuals with heart conditions, pre-existing or otherwise. Regulatory action may be taken by the FDA. The agency is seeking more complete information concerning this substance before taking official action.
How the substance affects individuals varies widely. People with comprehensive knowledge in the medical field advise those with underlying health issues may increase risk factors by ingesting this powder. For example, palpitations, seizures, cardiac arrhythmias, and strokes may manifest in individuals with increased levels of caffeine. According to the FDA, 400 milligrams of caffeine a day, or 20 to 28 ounces of coffee, the equivalent of three and a half regular cups of coffee, is usually not likely to cause harm to healthy adults. A toxic drink like caffeine powder has not seen much exploitation until recently.
The death of a teen in LaGrange, Ohio, has focused attention on the this powdered form of coffee. Logan Stiner, the 18-year-old who died from the ingestion of a teaspoon of the powder is the catalyst for the current investigation by the FDA. The powder is marketed as a weight control supplement, currently not regulated, unlike soda, which contains the powdered substance.
An autopsy performed on Stiner discovered a toxic level of caffeine in him when he died. There was more than 70 micrograms per millilitre in his blood, according to the county coroner. This amount is approximately 23 time more than that consumed by a typical soda or coffee drinker.
According to Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, a heaping teaspoon of powdered caffeine has the potential to kill a healthy adult. Glatter also expounded on the use of this substance by other young patients with complications from this caffeine in recent months. The use has increased as teens look for a quick solution to weight loss. Many health officials are concerned about the powder’s potential popularity with people who desire an energy boost, like exercise devotees or weight lifters.
A New York University medical toxicologist, Dr. Bob Hoffman, explained a person can experience adverse effects in a matter of minutes when a concentrated amount is ingested. Heart rate increases dramatically, and can become irregular, a person may feel sick, vomit, or have a seizure. The brain alert status increases, then becomes confused and agitated. Hoffman went on to say caffeine is a plant which is used in various forms and has become a common item used everyday. That alone does not make it safe. Caffeine powder, now that its toxic properties have been revealed, may not retain its status as a popular drink or supplement.
By Andy Towle