This chapter describes in some detail reproductive and developmental toxicity of caffeine in humans and experimental animals. This chapter also discusses new insights in the later effects of caffeine following its early exposure.
Concluding Remarks and Future Directions
Caffeine is the most consumed psycho-stimulant drug with free access to all groups of people through a wide range of dietary and medicinal sources. Caffeine consumption and its effects on fecundability, fetal development and neonatal life have been thoroughly investigated for a long time. In studies with animals, several negative outcomes related to reproduction and development with caffeine exposure are reported. For example, decrease in birth weight, cardiovascular defects and behavioral sensitizations to illicit drugs have been observed. However, no animal study can predict accurately the caffeine effects in humans. Reproductive adversity in human populations has no or few consistent association with normal levels of caffeine consumption, despite a vast literature regarding the issue. Even though reproductive aged women and children are indicated to be at risk, subgroups that may require specific advice on moderating their caffeine intake is yet to be established (CARE Group, 2008; Kuczkowski, 2009)’.