Doepker C, Lieberman HR, Smith AP, Peck JD, El-Sohemy A, Welsh BT. 2016. Caffeine: Friend or Foe? Annu Rev Food Sci Technol. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-food-041715-033243
The debate on the safety of and regulatory approaches for caffeine continues among various stakeholders and regulatory authorities. This decision-making process comes with significant challenges, particularly when considering the complexities of the available scientific data, making the formulation of clear science-based regulatory guidance more difficult. To allow for discussions of a number of key issues, the North American Branch of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) convened a panel of subject matter experts for a caffeine-focused session entitled “Caffeine: Friend or Foe?,” which was held during the 2015 ILSI Annual Meeting. The panelists’ expertise covered topics ranging from the natural occurrence of caffeine in plants and interindividual metabolism of caffeine in humans to specific behavioral, reproductive, and cardiovascular effects related to caffeine consumption. Each presentation highlighted the potential risks, benefits, and challenges that inform whether caffeine exposure warrants concern. This paper aims to summarize the key topics discussed during the session.