Pregnant women should cut all caffeine, study suggests
Pregnant women or those trying to conceive should consider avoiding caffeine, according to new research.
Women in these groups are currently told to have no more than 200 milligrams a day of caffeine.
But the study, by Professor Jack James, of Reykjavik University in Iceland, found that caffeine significantly increased the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes.
These include stillbirth, miscarriage and low birth weight.
It also reported an increased risk of childhood acute leukaemia and children being overweight or obese when born to mothers who consume caffeine during pregnancy.
The research, which is published in the journal BMJ Evidence Based Medicine, examined data from 37 observational studies.
Caffeine is naturally in foods and drinks such as tea, coffee, and chocolate but it is also added to some energy drinks, cold and flu medicines and some soft drinks.
Prof James wrote: “Current advice such as that issued by… the NHS is not consistent with the level of threat indicated by biological plausibility of harm and extensive empirical evidence of actual harm.
“Accordingly, current health recommendations concerning caffeine consumption during pregnancy are in need of radical revision.
“Specifically, the cumulative scientific evidence supports pregnant women and women contemplating pregnancy being advised to avoid caffeine.”
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