Too Much Coffee Lowers Babies’ Weights
New research reveals the association of caffeine from all sources (such as coffee, tea, soft drinks and food containing cocoa like deserts, cakes and chocolates) with SGA babies (small for gestational age) as well as low birth weight and extended duration of pregnancy. Moreover, intake of caffeine from coffee was linked to an even longer length of pregnancy.
The new study was published in BioMed Central’s open access journal BMC Medicine.
The project led by Dr. Verena Sengpiel investigated the impact of caffeine intake of mothers on their babies during pregnancy. About 60,000 pregnancies were included in the study and all sources of caffeine were monitored.
The results of the study showed that intake of caffeine from all sources during pregnancy are associated with SGA babies. Similar association was found on mothers who are non-smokers. The research team also found that caffeine from all sources reduced birth weight of infants to about 21-28g weight losses per 100mg of caffeine per day. Likewise, they found that it also lengthened the pregnancy of mothers by 5 hours per 100mg of caffeine per day.
The intake of caffeine from coffee resulted in an even longer pregnancy (an extra 8 hours for every 100mg caffeine per day). Researchers think that it’s not just the caffeine that is causing the extra hours but could be a substance in coffee that is responsible for this or it may be a behavior associated with drinking of coffee not present in women who only drink tea.
SGA babies have higher risk of developing health problems and based on the study, consumption of 200-300mg of caffeine per day can increase the risk of SGA by almost a third. As such, there may be a need to re-evaluate the recommended limit by the WHO of 300mg per day.
BioMed Central Limited (2013, February 19). Caffeine linked to low birth weight babies. ScienceDaily.