Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Java Gene

Bad news for coffee drinkers:

A study of 4,000 coffee drinkers has found that two or more cups each day can increase the risk of heart disease — but only for those with a genetic mutation that slows the breakdown of caffeine in the body.

In diverse urban areas, the mutation is found in 54% of the population.

People without the mutation can drink as much coffee as they like with no added risk of a heart attack, the scientists said.

Unfortunately, there's no commercial test for the mutation, which now puts coffee die-hards in a bit of a quandary.


People who metabolized caffeine slowly and drank two to three cups of coffee each day had a 32% higher risk of heart attack, according to the study. Those consuming four cups or more had a 64% greater risk.

A single cup of coffee had no effect on heart attack risk, researchers found.

Are we to assume this is true of all caffeinated drinks (amount varying depending on concentration of caffeine)? I personally have been staying away from caffeine for more than 25 years now after being nearly addicted to the stuff in early college. I quit because I felt it was messing with me. Perhaps I have the bad caffeine gene.

In any case, this I believe is rather big news. Unless a way is found to test for this gene, I think we are going to see a lot of people switching to decaf. For those not inclined to quit, the good news is you can almost certainly expect a coffee industry funded study to come out shortly refuting these findings.

1 comment:

A Bishop wife said...

Hubban*I drink about 3 or 4 pots a day. I know other people who drink it by the pots also. I think we are immune to the effects of caffine. I may have to look up those resent articles that are "pro" coffee.(LOL)