Having too much coffee in pregnancy bad for baby's liver
Ladies, limit your tea or coffee intake if you're expecting, as researchers have found that excess caffeine intake during pregnancy may impair baby's liver development and increase the risk of liver disease in adulthood.
In a study on rats, it was found that pregnant rats, which were given caffeine, had offspring with lower birth weight, altered growth and stress hormone levels and impaired liver development.
A recently published study indicates that consuming 2-3 cups of coffee a day may alter stress and growth hormone levels in a manner that can impair development of baby's liver.
"Our results indicate that prenatal caffeine causes an excess of stress hormone activity in the mother, which inhibits IGF-1 activity for liver development before birth. However, compensatory mechanisms do occur after birth to accelerate growth and restore normal liver function as IGF-1 activity increases and stress hormone signalling decreases," said researchers.Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is a hormone that plays an important role in childhood growth. "The increased risk of fatty liver disease, caused by prenatal caffeine exposure, is most likely a consequence of this enhanced, compensatory postnatal IGF-1 activity," they said.
For the study, the researchers investigated the effects of low (equivalent to 2-3 cups of coffee) and high doses (equivalent to 6-9 cups of coffee) of caffeine given to pregnant rats, on liver function and hormone levels of their offspring.
"Our work suggests that prenatal caffeine is not good for babies and although these findings still need to be confirmed in people, I would recommend that women avoid caffeine during pregnancy."
However, according to some experts, there is hardly any evidence showing that caffeine is harmful for pregnant woman or her baby's liver though it's true that excess of caffeine can affect sleep and may deprive the mother of adequate rest which can, in turn, harm both the mother and the child.
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