Scientific Opinion on the safety of caffeine

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Article
caffeine, taurine, D-glucurono-γ-lactone, p-synephrine, alcohol, physical activity, “energy drinks”
First published in the EFSA Journal
27 May 2015
Adopted
23 April 2015
Type
Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel
Abstract

Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies was asked to deliver a scientific opinion on the safety of caffeine, providing advice on caffeine intakes, from all dietary sources that do not give rise to concerns about adverse health effects for the general healthy population and subgroups thereof. Possible interactions between caffeine and other constituents of so-called “energy drinks”, alcohol, p-synephrine and physical exercise should also be addressed. Single doses of caffeine up to 200 mg (about 3 mg/kg bw for a 70-kg adult) do not give rise to safety concerns. The same amount does not give rise to safety concerns when consumed < 2 hours prior to intense physical exercise under normal environmental conditions. Other constituents of “energy drinks” at typical concentrations in such beverages (about 300–320, 4 000 and 2 400 mg/L of caffeine, taurine and d-glucurono-γ-lactone, respectively), as well as alcohol at doses up to about 0.65 g/kg bw, would not affect the safety of single doses of caffeine up to 200 mg. Habitual caffeine consumption up to 400 mg per day does not give rise to safety concerns for non-pregnant adults. Habitual caffeine consumption up to 200 mg per day by pregnant women does not give rise to safety concerns for the fetus. Single doses of caffeine and habitual caffeine intakes up to 200 mg consumed by lactating women do not give rise to safety concerns for breastfed infants. For children and adolescents, the information available is insufficient to derive a safe caffeine intake. The Panel considers that caffeine intakes of no concern derived for acute caffeine consumption by adults (3 mg/kg bw per day) may serve as a basis to derive single doses of caffeine and daily caffeine intakes of no concern for these population subgroups.

Panel members at the time of adoption
Carlo Agostoni, Roberto Berni Canani, Susan Fairweather-Tait, Marina Heinonen, Hannu Korhonen, Sébastien La Vieille, Rosangela Marchelli, Ambroise Martin, Androniki Naska, Monika Neuhäuser-Berthold, Grażyna Nowicka, Yolanda Sanz, Alfonso Siani, Anders Sjödin, Martin Stern, Sean (J.J.) Strain, Inge Tetens, Daniel Tomé, Dominique Turck and Hans Verhagen.
Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies
Contact
nda [at] efsa.europa.eu
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2015.4102
EFSA Journal 2015;13(5):4102 [120 pp.].
Question Number
On request from
European Commission
Print on demand
Number of Pages
120