Monday, January 21, 2008

Caffeine and miscarraige linked. Time to go cold turkey.

Well, here's some more news with which I could torture myself, were I so inclined. A new Kaiser Permanente study published today in the Amerian Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology says that "high doses" of caffeine during pregnancy can increase your chances of miscarriage:

Women who consumed 200 mg or more of caffeine per day (two or more cups of regular coffee or five 12-ounce cans of caffeinated soda) had twice the miscarriage risk as women who consumed no caffeine.

The increased risk of miscarriage appeared to be due to the caffeine itself, rather than other possible chemicals in coffee because caffeine intake from non-coffee sources such as caffeinated soda, tea and hot chocolate showed a similar increased risk of miscarriage.

In a word: crap. Let the inventory begin. I've been allowing myself that one small (often decaf) cappuccino in the morning, because I'm zombie-like without it, and with it, I find myself just a leeettle bit more focused. I maybe have a cup of tea in the afternoon; somewhere I heard that that was probably OK. I don't drink diet sodas (OK, well maybe a sip off my husband's here and there...but wait...I had a few slugs off a flat diet Pepsi yesterday afternoon while I was getting ready for a dinner party...).

Is this what's keeping me from getting pregnant? Did this cause my miscarriage in October 2007, and my two miscarriages in early 2004?

Oh, probably not. My advanced maternal age (love that term) is more probably the culprit. In an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, Dr. Aaron Caughey, a perinatologist at USCF, reminds us that the majority of miscarriages (up to 80%) are "due to chromosomal abnormalities that have nothing to do with the mother's behavior. The last thing women who have had miscarriages need to do is blame themselves, he said."

Oh, but we're so good at it.

Decaf it is.


Spocko said...

The last thing women who have had miscarriages need to do is blame themselves, he said."Oh, but we're so good at it.

I hate studies like this. I just went and read the press release. My favorite part was, "What is a tired mom to be do?"
"Learn to perk up instead with natural energy boosts like a brisk walk, yoga stretches, snacking on dried fruits and nuts."

Cynthia W Gentry said...

The person who wrote clearly wasn't a parent, much less a working parent. Try being up all night with a sick child, and then see how well dried fruit works for you.

Spocko said...

Yeah, reminds me of an article in Seventeen.

"Are you down in the dumps? Tie a big red ribbon around everything you love!"

One time I did an analysis of all the "medical stories" that were mentioned in Prevention Magazine. I found the actual "studies" they were based on.

One "study" that was presented as saying something like chewing gum prevents deadly teeth explosion and makes people 30 percent sexier was
1) Based on a total of 7 people and
2) Sponsored by Big Red cinnamon gum.

Another on the cancer preventing powers of dark chocolate? Sponsored by Dove dark chocolate. And they didn't bother to test OTHER dark chocolate, just Dove's!

Prevention didn't ever bother to talk about the sample size. Some times they said who the sponsor was but other times they just let the "exciting/troubling/terrifying" results from the press release be the whole story.

The Kaiser study was based on over 1,000 people but there also threw out a whole group of people who got sick and didn't drink caffeine when they got pregnant because they got morning sickness from it.

I'm sure there are also a lot of other factors that had a role to play.

Now if you in are the caffeine industry you start funding studies that show that

1) Caffeine is NOT bad for pregnant mothers that in fact the caffeine helped nature determine that this baby isn't healthy enough and therefore it is GOOD that they kept drinking the caffeine.

2) Actually helps prevent something like Alzheimer's. Then they get the story in Prevention magazine where they don't bother to ask nasty questions like "Who paid for this study?" and "How reliable is the science?"

Cynical? Me? I'm just a brain in a box. Fortunately I don't have to worry about stuff like this.