coffee-smell caffeine

Prenatal Caffeine May Impact Infant’s Liver Interview with:

Dr-Hui Wang

Dr. Hui Wang

Prof Hui Wang PhD
Wuhan University
China What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We started our work in the adverse outcome of maternal caffeine intake during pregnancy about 15 years ago. Then, we found that prenatal caffeine intake could result in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in the offspring. However, the underlying mechanism was unclear.

So, we start the current work, and found that hat maternal caffeine intake disrupts liver development before and after birth, which might be the trigger of the adult non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in the offspring rats. Moreover, we further found that the fetal programming of liver glucocorticoid – insulin like growth factor 1 axis, a new endocrine axis first reported by our team, might participate in such process. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Firstly, our current work provided evidences of prenatal caffeine intake, which warns all the pregnant that coffee during pregnancy in not good for the baby.

Secondly, our work also indicated that prenatal caffeine intake might lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in the offspring. So, if prenatal caffeine intake had happened, something should be done to prevent the happening of such diseases in the adulthood, for example more sports and rational diet. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: Due to our current findings, we think we should further uncover the underlying mechanism of the adverse effect of maternal caffeine intake. At the same time, we should figure out the key regulator of such mechanism and do some work concerning warning and intervention. Is there anything else you would like to add? 

Response: Beside of caffeine, maternal ethanol or nicotine intake, as well as malnutrition or overnutrition, could all affect the health of the baby. 


J Endocrinol. 2019 Jul 1. pii: JOE-19-0066.R1. doi: 10.1530/JOE-19-0066. [Epub ahead of print]
Prenatal caffeine exposure induces liver developmental dysfunction in offspring rats.
He B1, Wen Y2, Hu S3, Wang G4, Hu W5, Magdalou J6, Chen L7, Wang H8.

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Last Updated on July 30, 2019 by Marie Benz MD FAAD