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FDA investigating 13 deaths related to 5-Hour Energy

The FDA is investigating 13 deaths over the past year related to 5-Hour Energy, a highly caffeinated energy shot, The New York Times reported.

5-Hour Energy was also involved in roughly 90 incident reports since 2009 that “involved serious or life-threatening injuries like heart attacks, convulsions and, in one case, a spontaneous abortion,” according to FDA records examined by The New York Times. The incidents are still under investigation.

The distributor of 5-Hour Energy, Living Essentials of Farmington Hills, Mich., did not respond to written questions from the Times about the FDA records involving the injuries, and its top executive declined to be interviewed. Living Essentials is a unit of the product’s producer, Innovation Ventures.

Living Essentials did say in a statement that 5-Hour Energy is safe when used as directed.

The reports of 5-Hour Energy came at the same time as reports of a 14-year-old girl dying after allegedly consuming two cans of Monster, 5-Hour Energy’s energy drink version. 5-Hour Energy and Monster are both marketed dietary supplements rather than standard beverages.

5-Hour Energy does not print the exact amount of caffeine content on the small 2 oz. bottle, but ConsumerLab.com estimates its levels to be over 207 mg per 2 oz., which is twice as much as a cup of coffee.

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