Study blames caffeine for miscarriages

December 26, 2000 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Study blames caffeine for miscarriages

Five cups of coffee per day more than doubles a pregnant woman's risk of a miscarriage, according to perhaps the most rigorous study yet to focus on the possible link between caffeine and miscarriage.

Many nutrition experts and doctors have long suspected a connection and advise pregnant women to avoid caffeine. Unlike most past research, the latest study looked at women in early pregnancy, when most miscarriages happen. It also tried to account for a separate risk from genetic defects in fetuses and a possible risk from smoking.

The study involved 562 women who had miscarriages at between six to 12 weeks of pregnancy. The research team in Sweden and the United States found that the equivalent of one-to-three cups of North American coffee increases the risk of miscarriage by 30 percent. Three-to-five cups per day raises the risk by 40 percent. Five cups or more yields more than double the risk.

A cup of Swedish coffee typically carries about 180 milligrams of caffeine, compared to the 100 milligrams in a typical American cup of coffee. Tea, cocoa and sodas in equal volumes normally contain much less caffeine than coffee. But the study suggests a similar effect on miscarriage for these drinks and in caffeine-carrying medications, if enough is consumed.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.