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Caff or decaff - all in moderation

More evidence to support limiting coffee intake during pregnancy, but decaff doesn't get off scot-free either

Posted: 17 November 2005
by ThinkBaby

A study by Aarhus University in Denmark has produced further evidence that overdoing coffee consumption while pregnant can raise the chances of suffering a miscarriage.

The research team found that drinking more than eight cups of coffee a day could double the risk of a miscarriage, and, in-line with current official advice in the UK, recommend that pregnant women should drink no more than three cups of coffee a day, the equivalent of 300mg of caffeine. Caffeine from other sources such as cola and tea should also count towards this total.

This shouldn't be big news to most pregnant mums, who will already know that moderation is a key word for caffeine consumption during pregnancy. But if you turn to decaff for your daily fix in lieu of the hard stuff then there's a warning for you too. A second study, this time by the US's National Institutes of Health, found that drinking between three and six cups of decaffeinated coffee could increase your risk of heart disease.

In contrast to those in the study group who drank a significant amount of caffeinated coffee, blood tests on the decaff quaffers showed an 18% rise in fatty acids, with fatty acids being linked to the production of 'bad' cholesterol. But before you panic, as with the other warnings, these results were found in people who drank a lot of decaff every day. If you just have one cup a day, or the occasional decaffeinated treat, then the British Heart Foundation say there's no cause for you to worry.

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