Thursday, October 25, 2012


Caffeine is a natural stimulant and consumers get this into their system generally by consuming beverages like Coffee, Tea and Cocoa. While human body has the necessary ability to metabolize Caffeine, there is no clear cut consensus regarding the safe limit for daily consumption. While a 400 mg per day Caffeine intake can be considered tolerable for fully grown adults, many countries are trying to restrict the level to 180 mg per day for teenagers after the food industry started selling so called "energy drinks" with high caffeine levels targeting the younger generation consumers. Latest mad thing to happen in the US is marketing of a concentrated caffeine product in the form of drops with each drop designed to deliver a whopping 60 mg! As the regulatory authorities are more a puppet in the hands of the powerful industry, there does not appear to be any restriction, as of now, for marketing such products. Here is a take on this crazy development in that country.

"Each half-teaspoon serving of Mio, which is sold by Kraft Foods, releases 60 milligrams of caffeine in a beverage, the amount in a six-ounce cup of coffee, the company says. But one size of the bottle, which users can repeatedly squeeze, contains 18 servings, or 1,060 milligrams, of caffeine — more than enough, health specialists say, to sicken children and some adults, and even send some of them to the hospital. Several countries are reining in sales of energy drinks, pointing to the risks of excessive caffeine consumption by teenagers and even some adults. By year's end, Canada will cap caffeine levels in products like Monster Energy, Red Bull and Rockstar. Also countries like Mexico, France and India have or are considering steps including taxing the drinks more heavily to discourage their use".

It is true that Caffeine consumption keeps the consumer alert and therefore taking natural beverages containing Caffeine is understandable. But when it comes to children, young kids, old people, pregnant women, young nursing mothers and health compromised people Caffeine can pose serious problems. It is reported that there are at least 12000 emergency cases attended to in US hospitals every year with some casualties on account of Caffeine consumption. The habit forming properties of Caffeinated drinks are well known and if high Caffeine containing beverages, both natural and man-made, and Caffeine concentrates like Mio and tablets are allowed a free run in the market with no apparent restriction, it is a question of time before a major health crisis confronts the world!


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