The health risks of consuming too much caffeine, especially for vulnerable populations, and the easy availability of these products should cause the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be especially vigilant and proactive in regulating caffeine. However, the FDA’s overall response until recently has been one of inaction, according to a cautionary Editorial in Journal of Caffeine Research, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The Editorial is available free on the Journal of Caffeine Research website.
According to the precautionary principle, in the absence of a medical or scientific consensus that caffeine is harmful, the burden of proof that caffeine does not cause harm lies with the producers under the watchful oversight of the FDA.
“The potential for caffeine-related harm is known to be persistent and widespread,” says Jack E. James, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Caffeine Research, citing studies from the medical literature in which caffeine use has been linked to elevated blood pressure, physical dependence, and low birth weight.
“Therefore, absence of harm obviously cannot be demonstrated,” states Dr. James in his Editorial entitled “Caffeine: Public Concern and the Precautionary Principle.” He adds, “FDA regulatory inaction not only breaches the precautionary principle, it is entirely unfounded in fact.”
About the Journal
Journal of Caffeine Research: The International Multidisciplinary Journal of Caffeine Science is a quarterly journal published in print and online that covers the effects of caffeine on a wide range of diseases and conditions, including mood disorders, neurological disorders, cognitive performance, cardiovascular disease, and sports performance. The Journal explores all aspects of caffeine science including the biochemistry of caffeine; its actions on the human body; benefits, dangers, and contraindications; and caffeine addiction and withdrawal, across all stages of the human life span from prenatal exposure to end-of-life. Tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Journal of Caffeine Research website.
About the Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Breastfeeding Medicine, Journal of Medicinal Food, and Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 70 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.