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Labels Skimp On True Caffeine Disclosure

Study Finds Dietary Supplement Labels Inaccurate

Accurate labels on products are a necessity for consumer safety. However, as caffeine-enhanced beverages and dietary supplements gain popularity, new research has uncovered the hidden dangers such products pose because of mislabeling practices.

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found a majority of the dietary supplements sold on U.S. military bases did not correctly label the true amount of caffeine in the product, potentially putting troops' health at risk.

Only Nine Of 20 Had Correct Labels
The research conducted by a Harvard professor examined the labels of 31 supplements that met inclusion criteria in the study. Of the 31, 20 listed caffeine on their labels, but only nine of the 20 had caffeine levels consistent with label claims. Five of the 20 that listed caffeine had caffeine levels "widely inconsistent," ranging from 27 percent to 113 percent more than the labeled amount.

Of those same 20 products, six supplements labeled caffeine as an ingredient, but did not list an amount. However, testing found those products had caffeine levels of 210 to 310 milligrams per serving. Comparably, the Mayo Clinic recommends adult caffeine intake range around 200 to 300 milligrams a day, which would equal two to four cups of brewed coffee.