Extensive literature search as preparatory work for the safety assessment for caffeine

caffeine, energy drinks, alcohol, adverse health effects, performance
First published in EFSA Supporting Publications
15 January 2015
Type
External Scientific Report
Abstract

Previous studies on the safety of caffeine have been published by the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) in 1983, 1999 and 2003. In the latter assessment, the SCF concluded that caffeine would not exacerbate the adverse effects of alcohol.

A recent study carried out by the Committee on toxicity of chemicals in food consumer products and the environment (COT) looked at any new data published since the SCF report and advised on the potential for interactions between caffeine and alcohol. Limited data prevented them assessing the effect of caffeine on the acute toxicity of alcohol. Overall, the committee concluded that, based on the current balance of evidence, there is no harmful toxicological or behavioural interaction between caffeine and alcohol. However, they stated that this opinion should be reviewed if new evidence emerges.
In 2013, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was asked to evaluate potential adverse health effects that may arise following consumption either alone or in combination with alcohol and/or other substances such as energy drinks. Therefore, the objective of this project is to provide EFSA with an evidence base related to the adverse effects of caffeine, either alone or in combination with alcohol and/or other substances found in energy drinks in various population groups.
Previous studies on the safety of caffeine have been published by the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) in 1983, 1999 and 2003. In the latter assessment, the SCF concluded that caffeine would not exacerbate the adverse effects of alcohol.
A recent study carried out by the Committee on toxicity of chemicals in food consumer products and the environment (COT) looked at any new data published since the SCF report and advised on the potential for interactions between caffeine and alcohol. Limited data prevented them assessing the effect of caffeine on the acute toxicity of alcohol. Overall, the committee concluded that, based on the current balance of evidence, there is no harmful toxicological or behavioural interaction between caffeine and alcohol. However, they stated that this opinion should be reviewed if new evidence emerges.
In 2013, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was asked to evaluate potential adverse health effects that may arise following consumption either alone or in combination with alcohol and/or other substances such as energy drinks. Therefore, the objective of this project is to provide EFSA with an evidence base related to the adverse effects of caffeine, either alone or in combination with alcohol and/or other substances found in energy drinks in various population groups.
 

Contact
nda [at] efsa.europa.eu
doi
10.2903/sp.efsa.2015.EN-561
Question Number
Disclaimer
The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusively by the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender procedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be considered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European Food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issues addressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.