Killer Caffeine: Even a Tablespoon Can Be Fatal

Dr. Richard Besser weighs in on the concentrated caffeine that can easily be purchased online as a powder, liquid or even an inhaler.
1:21 | 04/27/16

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Transcript for Killer Caffeine: Even a Tablespoon Can Be Fatal
Thank you, Amy. New calls to ban caffeine powder. The families of two young men who died after taking it have gone to congress and asked the fda to ban it. Our chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser is here. This can be poison. We're talking about 100% pure caffeine. And caffeine in sodas and coffee is safe but can you go online and buy pure caffeine, system so strong it is so hard to measure how much you should take. You have a sense right here. If you look at one cup of coffee that has 00 milligrams of caffeine. If you take one teaspoon of the powder it's the amount of caffeine in 28 cups of coffee and that can be really dangerous. One teaspoon of in that can cause nausea, vomiting, anxiety, heart palpitations. A tablespoon, chest pain, irregular heartbeats, seizure and in some cases death. You're supposed to take 1/16 of a teaspoon and no kitchen can even measure that. No way to measure it. Why is this on the market. It has to do with how supments are regulated. They don't have to show they're safe or effective to go on the market. The fda can only take action after people are harmed and in the fall they sent letters to five companies and those companies stopped selling the product but they have to go after each company and calling on congress to get rid of it or for fda to change the regulation. Okay, rich Besser, thanks very much. I know you'll take questions all morning long on Twitter and Facebook.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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