A Little Coffee May Be Healthy in Pregnancy

By Cara Murez

Health Day reporter

TUESDAY, November 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Many women worry about giving up coffee while pregnant, but new research suggests that consuming a little caffeine while pregnant isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

“Although we have not been able to study the association of drinking above the recommended limit, we now know that low to moderate caffeine is not associated with an increased risk of gestational diabetes. of preeclampsia or hypertension for pregnant women, ”said study author Stefanie. Hinkle. She is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

For the study, researchers looked at prospective data from more than 2,500 pregnant participants who were enrolled in a U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development study conducted at 12 U.S. clinical centers between 2009 and 2013. .

The study measured participants’ blood plasma levels of caffeine when they were 10 and 13 weeks pregnant, and asked the women to report their weekly consumption of coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks containing caffeine.

The team then compared this information to clinical diagnoses of gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, and preeclampsia (a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system).

Researchers found that consuming caffeinated beverages between 10 and 13 weeks gestation was not linked to the risk of gestational diabetes. Not only that, drinking up to 100 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per day – about a 6-ounce cup – was associated with a 47% reduction in diabetes risk in the second trimester.

The researchers found no statistically significant difference between those who drank caffeine or not during pregnancy in terms of blood pressure, preeclampsia, or hypertension.

The results were published online recently in JAMA network open.

While the results are consistent with other studies that have shown that caffeine is associated with better energy balance and decreased body fat, it could also be the phytochemicals or other ingredients in coffee. and tea that impact inflammation and insulin resistance.

Previous studies have shown that consuming caffeine during pregnancy, even in amounts below the recommended 200 mg per day, was associated with smaller babies, Hinkle said.


“Non-drinking women would not be advised to initiate consumption of caffeinated beverages in an attempt to reduce the risk of gestational diabetes,” Hinkle said. “But our results can reassure women who already consume low to moderate levels of caffeine that such consumption is unlikely to increase their maternal health risks.”

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women limit their caffeine intake to less than 200 mg per day. The recommendations are based on studies that suggest potential associations with pregnancy loss and fetal growth at higher levels of caffeine intake, the study’s authors noted in an academic press release.

More information

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information on pregnancy and health.

SOURCE: University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, press release, November 11, 2021

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