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Studies on caffeine, the active constituent in guarana, indicate that consumption of caffeine may increase certain risks in pregnant women, although there is controversy in this area. For instance, high levels of caffeine consumption may result in delayed conception among women who are nonsmokers. Several studies found an association between caffeine and low birth weight. Heavy caffeine intake throughout pregnancy may increase the risk for SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Three cases of birth defects have been associated with excessive caffeine intake. Studies in pregnant women drinking moderate amounts of caffeine have shown inconsistent results, with more recent studies reporting no adverse effects on the fetus.
Caffeine consumption may increase the risk of an early spontaneous abortion among non-smoking women. Heavy caffeine consumers reporting nausea had a doubled risk for spontaneous abortion. Light caffeine use has been associated with risk for spontaneous abortion among women who aborted in their last pregnancy.
Caffeine is readily transferred into breast milk. Infant caffeine ingestion can lead to infant sleeping disturbances. The effect of other substances contained in guarana is unknown. Breastfeeding may inhibit the caffeine metabolism in infants due to human milk components. Babies from mothers who consumed large amounts of caffeine daily have experienced tremors, and some experienced cardiac rhythm disturbances.
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