(WXYZ) — Can drinking too much caffeine while pregnant damage your baby’s liver? According to a new study, the answer is yes. But how much is too much?
This animal study was just published in the “Journal of Endocrinology” and centered around female rodents. Now researchers found that high amounts of caffeine during pregnancy could damage not just a newborn’s liver, but it could also affect their overall growth and development.
It could also lead to lower birth weights and increase the risk of liver disease later on in life
So how could caffeine cause these issues?
The findings suggest that caffeine comparable to three or more cups of coffee a day, could change certain hormones levels, which then may impair the baby’s liver growth and development. Because after the baby rats were born, researchers found that they had higher levels of corticosteroid, a stress hormone, and lower levels of IFG-1, which is a liver hormone.
Now, this study involved rodents, so this does not mean the exact same thing will happen to humans, but expectant mothers should definitely be cautious when it comes to caffeine.
How much caffeine is considered safe during pregnancy?
I know that answer really well because as many of you know, my wife Kali is pregnant. And she is a BIG coffee and tea lover, typically having a couple cups of coffee in the morning and an iced tea in the afternoon. But now that she’s carrying our third son, she’s pretty much given up everything except for one half-caffeine coffee in the morning. And I can tell you that it’s a bit rough for her but she is a true rock star and a health hero. Yes, she’s more tired than usual but that’s not unusual for many pregnant women.
But back to the question, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, less than 200 mg per day appears to be safe during pregnancy. However, I’d like to point out that the researchers for this latest animal study are recommending that pregnant women avoid caffeine until these findings can be confirmed in humans.
Did you know that an expectant mother’s diet – and how much sugar she eats while pregnant – might affect her future child’s risk of developing allergies, allergic asthma and lung inflammation? Click here to learn more.
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Data pulled from WXYZ