Food and Drug Administration records are showing that more questions are being raised about the levels of caffeine contained in energy drinks currently on the market.
An investigation by the New York Times has found that energy drink 5-Hour Energy has been mentioned in about 90 incident reports with the FDA in the past four years.
NYTimes.com reports that more than 30 of the incident reports involved such conditions as heart attacks, convulsions, and even a miscarriage or spontaneous abortion. The report filing does not necessarily mean that the company was responsible.
Living Essentials, the distributor of 5-Hour Energy, said their drink was safe when used as directed and was unaware of any deaths proven to be caused by its consumption.
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin wants to see caffeine limits placed on the energy drinks after their consumption was linked to a sharp increase in emergency room visits since 2005, according to the Detroit Free Press. Last month, Monster Beverage energy drinks were mentioned in FDA reports about the deaths of five people in the past year.
A Consumer Reports test on energy drinks purchased in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey found that caffeine levels per serving went from about 6 to 242 milligrams in each serving, the highest level coming in the 5-hour Energy Extra Strength. Meanwhile, they reported that the average 8-ounce cup of coffee contains about 100 milligrams of caffeine; and a 16-ounce Starbucks Grande has 330 milligrams.
The 5-Hour Energy caffeine level was listed at 215 milligrams for a 1.9 ounce serving in Consumer Reports ratings.
According to Newser, the FDA received 17 reports of fatalities for about 50,000 dietary and weight loss supplements for 2010, but said it was likely that their manufacturers didn’t report all of their incidents.