FDA warns distributors of pure powdered caffeine

By Ed Payne and Debra Goldschmidt, CNN | Posted - Sep. 2, 2015 at 10:07 a.m.

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ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) — Coffee, sodas and energy drinks — many people drink caffeine everyday.

It's safe for most folks, but in the wrong dose it can be deadly.

The Food and Drug Administration has put five distributors of pure powdered caffeine on notice that their products are potentially dangerous.

The warning follows the deaths of two otherwise healthy young men in 2014, who died after using the powerful stimulant.

Users of powdered caffeine like it because they can get their fix inexpensively and without the sugars, sweeteners and other additives that come in other products.

The problem is that caffeine in its powdered form is very potent. A teaspoon has the same amount of caffeine in it as about 28 cups of regular coffee.

Consume too much caffeine and you can end up with a rapid or dangerously erratic heartbeat, seizures or even death, according to the FDA.

The FDA this week issued warning letters to Smartpowders, Purebulk, National Food Supplements, Hard Eight Nutrition and Bridge City Bulk.

The federal agency has a problem with how the products are labeled.

Because of its purity, powdered caffeine is difficult to measure and get an accurate dose.

"The companies have 15 business days from the date of receipt of the letter to communicate to the agency the specific steps they will take to bring their products into compliance with the law," the FDA said on its website.

Copyright 2015 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Ed Payne
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