A new study has revealed that if premature babies are given caffeine, they can perform slightly better in tests that measure their ability to breathe out later in life.
The research also suggests that they are also significantly better at exhaling during a forced breath. Earlier, other researchers have already demonstrated that caffeine acts as a respiratory stimulant that improves short-term breathing rates and the lung’s ability to stretch and expand.
During the study, participants, all of who were babies under 10 days were treated with caffeine or a placebo for an average of 43 weeks following which they found that the children who were treated with caffeine performed significantly better in tests that measured their ability to breathe out.
According to researchers, this has been associated to a reduced need for ventilation aid.
Lead author Dr Lex Doyle while speaking to British newspaper Daily Mail said that caffeine, which belongs to a group of drugs known as methylxanthines, reduces apnea of prematurity, a condition in which the baby stops breathing for many seconds.