Coffee consumption probably safe during pregnancy

 Coffee consumption probably safe during pregnancy


Throughout their pregnancy, pregnant women are given numerous nutritional guidelines. One of the most common pieces of advice is to consume less coffee.

Gunn-Helen Moen, a researcher. Transdisciplinary Research Institute

In a recent study, Gunn-Helen Moen and associates looked into whether coffee consumption during pregnancy affected the weight of the foetus or whether a premature birth occurred. Additionally, they investigated if drinking coffee increased the chance of miscarriage or stillbirth.

According to these measurements, there is no correlation between the number of cups of coffee consumed daily by pregnant women and the risk to the unborn child, says Moen.

She works as a researcher at the University of Oslo's Institute of Clinical Medicine.

On the other hand, she adds, we cannot rule out the possibility that coffee may have an impact on the foetus in other ways that we did not examine in our study.

Ø Prior research reached the opposite outcome

However, earlier research found that caffeine might be hazardous to an unborn child. These investigations, however, were what are known as observational studies, which have a study design that makes it challenging to demonstrate causation.

Therefore, this research cannot establish that caffeine is detrimental, according to Moen. The association that the researchers discovered in earlier studies might be caused by additional confounding variables. For instance, it can have resulted from drinking alcohol or smoking.

Nevertheless, the results of these investigations prompted widespread advice to limit or avoid coffee consumption during pregnancy.

Ø The right advice must be given to expectant women

The goal of researcher Gunn-Helen Moen is to improve the documentation of pregnancy risk factors. She thinks that advice given to expectant mothers should be supported by solid research.

The results would have been crucial for expectant mothers who want to lower the risk if our study had shown that there was a connection between how much coffee pregnant women consume and their baby's birth weight, whether the kid is born early, or the chance of miscarriage and stillbirth. Then, she claims, they may have decided to consume less coffee.

But that wasn't the situation.

It's critical to employ cutting-edge techniques in research on pregnancy risk factors. We must make sure that the advice we give to expectant mothers is reliable. We must be careful not to make recommendations that serve no useful purpose or effect, says Moen.

It is difficult to research pregnancy risk factors because of ethics.

Commonly, medical researchers want to use so-called randomized-controlled trials to investigate causal correlations (RCTs).

The study participants are randomly split into two or more groups, making sure that all of them are equal aside from the intervention under study. In order to determine if coffee drinking during pregnancy is hazardous, one group of pregnant women would have been instructed to drink a lot of coffee, while the other group would have been instructed to consume little or no coffee.

The number of instances of, say, low birth weight in the two groups would then be looked at by the researchers.

It is challenging to carry out this research during pregnancy, though. According to Moen, it is unethical to demand pregnant women to take actions that could endanger either the foetus or themselves.

Ø Research on gene variations linked to coffee consumption

As a result, Moen and his colleagues have created a novel technique that can offer clearer solutions while also being safe.

The approach entails analysing genes to check for potential risk factors during pregnancy. There are DNA variations that are connected to things like a person's coffee consumption.

According to our research, some genetic variations were significantly correlated with the quantity of coffee consumed by pregnant women. Then, using genetic variations, researchers looked into how coffee consumption affected a child's weight, risk of miscarriage, and chance of having a stillbirth.

For this, Moen and colleagues examined information from the ALSPAC cohort and the British UK biobank research, which involved over 250,000 women. About 6,800 expectant mothers and their kids make up ALSPAC.

Ø Aspires to research the impact of additional dietary recommendations

The effects of coffee drinking during pregnancy will be the subject of further investigation by researcher Gunn-Helen Moen. She wants to find out if drinking coffee affects measurements other than those considered in the current study.

The same methodology will be used by her to contribute to further documentation on other dietary guidelines that expectant women are urged to abide by.

Several experts in our research group are curious about the connections between pregnant women's nutritional needs and their unborn children's health. According to Moen, we are preparing a number of research in which we will examine numerous variables in more detail.

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