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Caffeine intake and pregnancy

Lead investigator Hora Soltani
Funder Food Standard Agency
Amount £12,766
Dates January 2010 - June 2010


Caffeine intake during pregnancy has shown to impact on infant birth weight. However, factors that influence birth weight are complex. Data on caffeine intake during pregnancy and gestational weight gain and distribution of caffeine in plasma, saliva and tissue are available, but it is not possible to determine how much caffeine has been metabolised and therefore converted to individual metabolites.

Physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modelling can overcome these difficulties and, therefore, will be used to determine caffeine metabolism and clearance. This provides predictions on rates of formation and destruction of each metabolite. With Dr Penny Furness and information advisors, we are contributing to this project by establishing a systematic database of literature on physiological changes during pregnancy.


This multidisciplinary project works with eminent experts in the field from Leeds University, Manchester University and a private company. It aims to establish a novel virtual model for physiological changes during pregnancy. By building on the existing literature, it provides safer opportunities for further research on the effects of medications and/or other substances during pregnancy.

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