Caffeine — the seemingly benign stimulant found in coffee, energy drinks, soda and even chocolate — has been implicated in the death of a 23-year-old British man, who reportedly overdosed on caffeine powder he purchased on the Internet.
America’s favorite drug has gotten a lot of bad press lately. In September, a Kentucky man who allegedly murdered his wife used caffeine intoxication as his defense, claiming he’d overconsumed energy drinks and diet pills, which led him to become mentally unstable and confess falsely. (More on Time.com: 4 Reasons Binge Drinking Is a Public Health Problem)
In October, a spate of alcohol-poisoning cases on U.S. college campuses were attributed to caffeinated malt liquor drinks, most notably an incident at Central Washington University in which 10 students were rushed to the hospital after indulging in too many fruit-flavored Four Loko drinks. Now college administrators, lawmakers and public-health advocates want caffeinated alcoholic drinks banned. (More on Time.com: Photos: Your Doctor Wants You to Smoke)
Last week, according to AOL Health, it came to light that Michael Lee Bedford, the British man, died after consuming “spoonfuls” of caffeine powder at a party with friends. AOL Health reports that Bedford had the equivalent of 70 energy drinks in his system at the time of his death in April. According to Dr. Eric Braverman, a lethal dose of caffeine would be about 10,000 milligrams — or 100 cups of coffee — the website reports. For more about the effects of caffeine overconsumption, see the AOL Health site.