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    Top 5 Problem Dietary Supplements

    When natural doesn't always mean safe, and reading labels doesn't necessarily protect consumers.

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    White powder

    Pure Powdered Caffeine

    Caffeine is practically a staple of the American diet, devoured by consumers of all ages in coffee, tea, and energy and soft drinks. But powdered caffeine products are far more concentrated and dangerous than caffeinated beverages.

    According to the FDA, there is a very fine line between a safe amount and a toxic dose of pure powdered caffeine. A standard teaspoon delivers the caffeine equivalent of about 28 cups of regular coffee, but a teaspoon is far too imprecise a tool for calculating the number of milligrams of caffeine in a serving size. This can result in accidental overdoses.

    In 2015, the FDA issued warning letters to five powdered caffeine distributors that their products present a significant or unreasonable risk of illness or injury. Users may suffer from elevated or dangerously erratic heartbeat, high blood pressure, seizures, and even death. Other side effects of caffeine toxicity include diarrhea, vomiting, stupor, and disorientation. The effects of caffeine can be heightened by pre-existing conditions, making the product even more dangerous.

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