Pregnant women, liver disease sufferers and children could be at risk from drinking coffee from some high street coffee shops.
An analysis of espresso’s in 20 coffee shops found that the amount of caffeine varied greatly between shops. The strongest coffee was found to have 6 times the caffeine that the weakest one had.
Pregnant women are advised to limit their caffeine intake to 200mg a day which is the equivalent of around 4 cups. However this study has found that the strongest coffee analysed contained 50mg more in one cup than is advised for the whole day.
This is worrying as caffeine is bad for pregnant women as it takes longer for the caffeine to break down in the body. This is also the case for children, liver disease sufferers and those taking the contraceptive pill. Drinking higher amounts of caffeine when pregnant could cause birth defects, miscarriage and premature delivery.
Coffee shop chains believe that by offering decaffeinated coffee they are providing an alternative whilst others think that the guidelines need addressing and more analysis done on other types of coffee.
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