Do I have the coffee genes?
If you greet the morning with the flavours of freshly brewed coffee, you are not just one, you are one among the billions of people worldwide who indulge into the grind of coffee consumption.
Several studies showed that daily coffee consumption reduced the risks of heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and diabetes – a news that coffee lovers can rejoice. Oh yes! but wait – there are some studies which found that daily coffee consumption has been associated with increased risks of myocardial infarction, heart disease and anaemia.
Uh, oh! So, is coffee good or bad for me? Is the same question running in your mind? No one can answer this question until you take a peek at your genes. We each respond differently to caffeine based on our genetic makeup. Several genes are involved in caffeine metabolism, CYP1A2 gene is one such gene responsible for making the liver enzyme, CYP1A2. This determines how quickly your body processes and eliminates caffeine from your blood stream. We can classify individuals either as slow or fast metabolisers depending on the genetic variation that they carry. For instance, individuals with AC or CC genotype at rs762551 of the CYP1A2 gene are slow metabolisers and those with AA genotype are fast metabolisers.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2006, http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=202502 showed that slow metabolisers are at an elevated risk of suffering a heart attack if they consume 2 or more cups of coffee. While those who are fast metabolisers actually have reduced risk if they consume at least one cup of coffee per day compared to not consuming any coffee. So coffee is good or bad depending on the genes that you carry.