IOM Publishes Summary of Workshop on Caffeine in Food and Dietary Supplements

January 27, 2014

By Ricardo Carvajal

The Institute of Medicine (“IOM”) published a summary report of the workshop on caffeine in food and dietary supplements that IOM convened last August at FDA’s request.  As noted in the introduction to the summary, the summary presents statements, recommendations, and opinions of individual participants, and does not reflect the consensus of the IOM, nor is it intended to constitute a comprehensive review of the subject.  Nonetheless, the summary may be of use to those who were unable to attend the workshop and have an interest in the issues that were addressed, including:

  • Regulation of caffeine in the U.S.
  • Intake and exposure to caffeine
  • Safety signals and surveillance
  • Exploring safe caffeine exposure levels for vulnerable populations
  • Caffeine Effects on the Cardiovascular System 
  • Caffeine effects on the central nervous system and behavioral effects associated with caffeine consumption
  • Other compounds impacting caffeine effects

In a concurrently issued press release, FDA touted the summary as “extremely informative” and reiterated that the agency is “especially concerned with products that may be attractive and readily available to children and adolescents, without careful consideration of their cumulative impact.”  FDA also noted that it continues to investigate adverse event reports for energy drinks and other caffeinated products, with public safety as the agency’s “top priority,” and that the new online adverse event reporting system for dietary supplements “will make it easier for the FDA to detect dietary supplements that pose risk for a range of reasons, including excessive levels of caffeine.”