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New research says pregnant women should avoid all caffeine, but experts disagree

caffeine pregnancy

MILAN – Pregnant women and those who are trying to conceive should avoid tea, coffee and other caffeine drinks says a new research, but many experts disagree. An analysis of observational studies, published in the journal BMJ Evidence Based Medicine Monday, found evidence to suggest that maternal caffeine consumption may be associated with negative pregnancy outcomes, warning that there is “no safe level of consumption” for pregnant mothers.

“The cumulative scientific evidence supports pregnant women and women contemplating pregnancy being advised to avoid caffeine,” said study author Jack James, a professor of psychology at Reykjavik University in Iceland, in a statement.

Current health guidelines on caffeine consumption during pregnancy, which typically advise pregnant women to keep caffeine consumption at 200 milligrams or less a day, are in need of “radical revision,” James said.

“The idea, promoted by many health authorities, that there is a safe level of maternal caffeine consumption is a myth. That relaxed position is not consistent with scientific evidence and it is a position that must change,” he said.

Through database searches, researchers looked at 1,261 articles linking caffeine drinks to pregnancy.

In 48 studies, they found it resulted in miscarriage, stillbirth, low birth weight, premature birth, childhood leukaemia and childhood obesity.

Prof James said: ‘Caffeine-related risk was reported with moderate to high levels of consistency for all pregnancy outcomes except preterm birth.’

James said eight out of every nine studies on caffeine and miscarriage reported “significant associations”. Some suggested consumption increased the risk by a third, and others said the risk increased with every extra cup of coffee.

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