COT Statement

A COT Statement highlights the increased risks associated with caffeine intakes of 200 mg/day during pregnancy, as described in the recently published FSA-funded study (research projects T01032 and T01033) by the CARE Study Group. In the study, which involved 2635 pregnant women recruited during their first trimester, CARE investigators found that caffeine consumption throughout pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of foetal growth restriction (FGR). When compared to ladies consuming, from all sources, less than 100 mg caffeine/day, those with higher intakes were found to be more likely to have smaller babies (the FGR odds ratio at intakes of 100-199 mg/day was 1.2, 95% CI 0.9-1.6, while at 200-299 mg/day it was 1.5, 95% CI 1.1-2.1, and at 300 mg/day or more it was 1.4, 95% CI 1.0-2.0). The investigators were unable to determine a threshold below which there was no elevation of risk. Assuming the relationship was indeed causal, the COT calculated that for daily caffeine intakes of less than 200 mg, the increased FGR incidence would probably affect less than 2% of infants. Following a review of the relevant literature published since its previous 2001 Statement, the COT also concluded that caffeine consumption may be linked with an increased miscarriage rate, although the data concerning congenital malformations and pre-term birth were considered inconclusive.

[UK Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment. Statement on the reproductive effects of caffeine. COT Statement 2008/04, September 2008 ) and CARE Study Group, British Medical Journal 2008, 337:a2332 ( published online 3 November 2008.] {175509; 179611}

FSA consumer advice

In accordance with the recent COT recommendation, FSA has published new advice for pregnant women to limit their caffeine consumption to 200 mg/day, which is equivalent to about two daily mugs of coffee. [UK Food Standards Agency. News Release of 3 November 2008, available at on the internet.] {175509}

The above item is taken from the December 2008 issue of Toxicology and Regulatory News which is sent automatically to members of bibra (click here for more details).


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