Science and Law
21st January 2014

That FDA and IOM Caffeine Safety Report? Read it

Are you interested in the safety of caffeine? Then get a copy of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) new report Caffeine in Food and Dietary Supplements: Examining Safety (freely available). Topics span the history caffeine regulation in the U.S.

That FDA and IOM Caffeine Safety Report? Read it

Are you interested in the safety of caffeine? Then get a copy of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) new report Caffeine in Food and Dietary Supplements: Examining Safety (freely available). Topics span the history caffeine regulation in the U.S., to the mechanisms of the central effects of caffeine, to current intake and exposure levels in the U.S. population (see below for the complete Table of Contents).

Why did the IOM Issue this Report? 

At the request of the FDA, the IOM held a workshop August 5-6, 2013, to review the available science on caffeine safety, and the workshop summary report was just released (Caffeine in Food and Dietary Supplements: Examining Safety: Workshop Summary (2014)).

According to an FDA press announcement: “The FDA requested the workshop because we know how important it is to get the science right. The summary report that IOM issued today will be extremely informative as we continue our investigation of the safety of caffeine, particularly its effects on children and adolescents.”

Much of the workshop was focused on the science of safety of caffeine in energy drinks, although discussions extended across all foods and beverages, as well as dietary supplements, coffee, tea, carbonated soft drinks, and other products.

The Workshop Objectives were:

  • Evaluate the epidemiological, toxicological, clinical, and other relevant literature to describe important health hazards associated with caffeine consumption.
  • Delineate vulnerable populations who may be at risk from caffeine exposure.
  • Describe caffeine exposure and risk of cardiovascular and other health effects on vulnerable populations, including additive effects with other ingredients and effects related to pre-existing conditions.
  • Explore safe caffeine exposure levels for general and vulnerable populations.
  • Identify data gaps on caffeine stimulant effects, including but not limited to cardiovascular, central nervous system, or other health outcomes.

Although the report reached no definite conclusions on caffeine in food and drinks, the FDA noted that the report will be useful in its continued review of the safety of caffeine in food products, particularly its effects on children and adolescents.

Table of Contents of the IOM Report

Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION

The Past, Present, and Future of Caffeine Regulation in the United States

Chapter 2: INTAKE AND EXPOSURE TO CAFFEINE

Caffeine Intake from Beverages in the United States

Various Aspects of Caffeine Intake in America: Analysis of NHANES

Chapter 3: SAFETY SIGNALS AND SURVEILLANCE

Caffeine and Energy Drink Exposure Call Surveillance

Safety Assessment of Caffeine in Foods and Beverages

Chapter 4: EXPLORING SAFE CAFFEINE EXPOSURE LEVELS FOR VULNERABLE POPULATIONS

Health Canada’s Approach

Safe Caffeine Exposure Levels in Vulnerable Populations: Pregnant Women and

Infants

Risk of Adverse Effects of Caffeine and Caffeinated Products in Children and Other Vulnerable Groups

Chapter 5: Caffeine Effects on the Cardiovascular System

Vascular Effects of Caffeine

Caffeine and Risk of Arrhythmia

Caffeine and Risk of Hypertension

Chapter 6: CAFFEINE EFFECTS ON CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM AND BEHAVIORAL EFFECTS ASSOCIATED WITH CAFFEINE CONSUMPTION

Mechanisms of the Central Effects of Caffeine

Developmental and Psychopharmacological Effects of Caffeine

Addictive Properties of Caffeine

DSM-5: Substance Related and Addiction Disorders

Energy Drink Use and Risk-Taking During Adolescence and Young Adulthood

Caffeine, Performance, and Well-Being

Chapter 6: OTHER COMPOUNDS IMPACTING CAFFEINE EFFECTS

Interaction Between Energy Drink Ingredients and Caffeine

Chapter 7: PUBLIC COMMENTS

Chapter 8: MOVING FORWARD: FILLING THE DATA GAPS

 

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