Is it okay to drink coffee during pregnancy? Yes (in moderation), a genetic study suggests

FILE – A pregnant woman holds a cup of coffee in an undated file photo. (Photo by Bildquelleullstein bild via Getty Images)

Pregnancy generally comes List of some foods and drinks To limit or completely avoid, such as certain raw or undercooked foods. But what about those who enjoy it A daily cup of caffeine?

A recently published genetic study suggests that limited coffee consumption is generally safe for pregnancy. Specifically, researchers from the University of Queensland used genetics to analyze coffee drinking behavior and found that moderate coffee consumption did not increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, or preterm birth.

Previous research has suggested possible associations with pregnancy loss and fetal development at high levels of caffeine. But data is still limited on the link between caffeine and maternal health outcomes, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Dr John Helen Moen from the University of Queensland Institute of Molecular Biological Sciences The author of the most recent genetic study noted that much of the research on the topic has been based on observational studies, “where it is difficult to separate coffee drinking from other risk factors such as smoking, alcohol, or poor diet.”

“We wanted to find out if coffee alone really increased the risk of negative pregnancy outcomes, and the research shows that’s not the case,” Moen said. He said in a statement.

Pregnancy study looks at coffee drinking and genetics

The team that also included Dr. Daniel Huang And the Caroline Brito Nunes From the Institute for Molecular Biosciences, they analyzed genetic data from the Coffee and Caffeine Genes Consortium, the UK Biobank, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, and 23andMe.

Coffee drinking behavior is partly due to genes, Huang said, with a specific set of genetic variants playing a role in how much coffee we consume.

“We have shown that these genetic variants affect not only coffee consumption in the general population but also in pregnant women,” Huang said of the research.

The study authors used Mendelian randomnessa research method that provides clues about causal relationships between modifiable risk factors and disease, using genetic variants.

In other words, the study used eight genetic variants that predicted coffee drinking behavior in pregnant women and examined whether these variants were also associated with specific birth outcomes.

“Because we cannot ask women to drink prescribed amounts of coffee during pregnancy, we used genetic analyzes to mimic a randomized control trial,” Huang said.

Genetic analysis found that there was no greater risk of miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth for women who drank a limited amount of coffee. But the researchers emphasized that the study only looked at some of the risks of pregnancy. They caution that excessive caffeine intake can affect other important aspects of fetal development.

“For this reason, we do not recommend high amounts during pregnancy, but we do recommend coffee in small or moderate amounts,” Moen added.

The study was published on June 9 in International Journal of Epidemiology.

What is a safe amount of caffeine during pregnancy?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends pregnant women Limit caffeine intake to less than 200 mgwhich generally equals one 12-ounce cup per day—depending on the type of bean, roasting degree, and serving size.

a Large cold drink at Starbucks It comes with about 205 mg of caffeine, while a A medium sized iced coffee at Dunkin’ It contains about 297 mg of caffeine.

“Most experts agree that it’s safe to drink one cup of coffee a day — that’s 12 ounces (200 milligrams) of caffeine,” Dr. Ann Cressoro, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Sacramento, Calif., tells SELF. Books in online question and answer. “Pay attention to tea, chocolate, soft drinks, and other sources of caffeine when calculating your intake.”

This story was reported from Cincinnati.