Press releases

Excess caffeine harmful to the body

29 May 2015 | By INSERM (Newsroom) | Uncategorized

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has just announced that consumption of more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day (i.e. 4 espressos) may be harmful for health. Caffeine consumed in high doses may be involved in cardiovascular disorders and problems of the nervous system (sleep, anxiety, etc.).

Below this threshold of 400 mg per day, there is no risk to adults from coffee.

EFSA recalls that coffee is not the only source of caffeine, and that other liquids, such as cola-type carbonated drinks and energy drinks are other sources that need to be taken into account.

 This reminder is especially important since in the thirteen countries studied, one-seventh of the adult population consumes more than the recommended dose.

Furthermore, for pregnant women and children, the recommended limit is reduced to 200 mg per day and 3 mg/kg, respectively.

In 2014, Christophe Bernard, Inserm Research Director, and his team first described the harmful effects of coffee consumption during pregnancy on the brains of mouse progeny. [1]

Throughout the year, this team from Inserm Unit 1106, “Institute of Systems Neuroscience,” works to investigate the role of caffeine in the development of metabolic and brain diseases.

[1] See the press release “Caffeine consumption during pregnancy and its effects on the brain during development” on the Inserm press office website.


Researcher Contact

Christophe Bernard
Directeur de recherche Inserm
Unité mixte Inserm 1106 « Institut de neurosciences des systèmes » (Marseille)
+ 33 (0) 4 91 29 98 06 / 06 18 04 49 13

Scientific Opinion on the safety of caffeine

EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy

EFSA Journal, 27 mai 2015