The FDA recently announced that it will be taking steps to protect consumers against dietary supplements containing high levels of concentrated pure caffeine.
According to a press release from the agency, these products present a significant public health treat due to high risk that they will be used at excessive and potentially dangerous doses.
"Despite multiple actions against these products in the past, we’ve seen a continued trend of products containing highly concentrated or pure caffeine being marketed directly to consumers as dietary supplements and sold in bulk quantities, with up to thousands of recommended servings per container. We know these products are sometimes being used in potentially dangerous ways. For example, teenagers, for a perceived energy kick, sometimes mix dangerously high amounts of super-concentrated caffeine into workout cocktails,” FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said in the release. “The amounts used can too easily become deceptively high because of the super-concentrated forms and bulk packaging in which the caffeine is being sold."
A half cup of a highly concentrated liquid caffeine can contain the equivalent of 20 cups of coffee and just a single teaspoon of a powdered pure caffeine product can contain approximately an equivalent of 28 cups of coffee, both potentially toxic doses of caffeine, according to the release.
"We’re making clear for industry that these highly concentrated forms of caffeine that are being sold in bulk packages are generally illegal under current law,” Gottlieb said. “We’ll act to remove these dangerous bulk products from the market."
Cardiology Today has compiled a list of five recent articles discussing the effects of caffeine on the heart.
Energy drinks associated with elevated QTc interval, systolic blood pressure
Electrical activity in the heart and systolic BP were significantly elevated in those who regularly consume 32 oz of commercially available energy drinks vs. standard caffeine consumption, findings published in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggest.
Energy drinks ‘pose greater health risk’ than coffee
Physiological adverse events linked to consuming energy drinks were “significantly more prevalent” than those linked to coffee, according to data recently published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
However, the types of adverse events that occurred were similar between coffee and energy drinks, researchers added.
Caffeine does not increase short-term risk for arrhythmias in patients with HF
New findings published in JAMA Internal Medicine counter the counsel heath care providers commonly give patients with chronic HF to reduce their caffeine intake because of risk for ventricular arrhythmias.
“We found no association between caffeine ingestion and arrhythmic episodes,” Luis E. Rohde, MD, ScD, of the Medical School of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil, told Cardiology Today. “In fact, our results challenge the perception that patients with CVD, and at risk for arrhythmias, should avoid or limit caffeine intake.”
Regular caffeine consumption unlikely to lead to changes in heart rhythm
In a new study, regular consumption of caffeinated products including coffee, tea and chocolate was not associated with premature atrial and ventricular contractions.
Researchers evaluated 1,388 participants from the NHLBI Cardiovascular Health Study, a prospective, community-based cohort study, to evaluate the relationship between dietary patterns and premature cardiac contractions such as premature atrial contractions (PAC) and premature ventricular contractions (PVC). All participants underwent dietary assessment and 24-hour Holter monitoring. Chronic caffeine consumption was defined as average frequency of consumption during the past 12 months.
Caffeine intake lowers risk for death
Moderate caffeine intake was associated with a decreased risk for all-cause mortality, regardless of the presence or absence of coffee consumption, according to findings recently published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
“Few studies have investigated the association between daily caffeine intake and mortality, and no study has yet evaluated the effects of caffeine intake compared with no caffeine intake,” Tetsuro Tsujimoto, MD, PhD, National Center for Global Health, Tokyo, and colleagues wrote.