Mother’s Caffeine Ingestion Affects Fecundity and Offspring Birth Weight in Murine Models

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O. Owolabi Joshua
Adeyeye Joshua
O. Oyewumi Samson


Caffeine is the world most popularly consumed legal neurostimulant. It is naturally found in beverage drinks including coffee and tea. It is also artificially added to several soft and energy drinks, as well as medicinal drugs including analgesics. Caffeine itself can be employed for therapeutic purposes. The wide range of caffeine distribution in substances and its popularity in some cultures makes it almost impossible to regulate its consumption. Several people consume caffeine from one or more sources, daily and almost inadvertently. Yet, caffeine ingestion during pregnancy has been reported to have observable effects on female fertility as well as on embryo, foetal and child health. This investigation was conducted to analyse the effect of different doses of caffeine on pregnancy and foetus at birth with emphasis on the number of offspring and morphological parameters. Thirty two (n=32) adult female pregnant mice (Mus musculus) were divided into four groups- Group A as the Control, Group B was administered the low-dose caffeine (10mg/kg body weight), Group C was administered the medium-dose caffeine (50 mg/kg body weight) and Group D was administered the high-dose caffeine (120 mg/kg body weight). Anhydrous caffeine was dissolved in distilled water to achieve the target dosage for each group and animals were administered caffeine daily throughout the period of pregnancy. At birth, the parameters of fecundity were examined especially with respect to the average litter number; total sum of litter weights as well as the average litters’ weights across the experimental animal groups. Caffeine significantly affected birth weight of the offspring; treated groups had fewer offspring per birth and lower sum of offspring weights. Caffeine had observable effects on pregnancy and litters in manner that were negative especially at the higher doses.

Caffeine, pregnancy, fecundity, fertility, birth weight

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How to Cite
Joshua, O. O., Joshua, A., & Samson, O. O. (2017). Mother’s Caffeine Ingestion Affects Fecundity and Offspring Birth Weight in Murine Models. Asian Journal of Biology, 3(1), 1-7.
Original Research Article