The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is cracking down on a manufacturer of dietary supplements for improper sales of powdered caffeine. The warning letter issued by the agency accused TJM Resale’s Synaptik Supplements & Ligand Solutions of illegally touting health benefits with its bulk caffeine product, such as boosting metabolism.
Even if the company planned to sell the powdered caffeine product as a dietary supplement, it would then be considered adulterated because the dosing instructions pose “a significant or unreasonable risk of illness or injury,” the FDA warning letter stated. The instructions recommend serving sizes of 50 milligrams to 100 milligrams, which depending on the powder’s density, is about 1/54 of a teaspoon, a size that “cannot be accurately measured” with typical household equipment, the agency said.
Powdered caffeine has been linked to deaths from caffeine overdose, prompting the FDA to consider taking legal action against companies that sell the product. A single teaspoon of pure caffeine is roughly equivalent to the amount in 25 cups of coffee. Even a small amount can cause accidental overdose, which can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, stupor, disorientation, rapid or dangerously erratic heartbeat, seizures and death.
The FDA has previously advised consumers to avoid powdered pure caffeine, warning, “It is nearly impossible to accurately measure powdered pure caffeine with common kitchen measuring tools and you can easily consume a lethal amount.”