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Drink a Lot of Coffee? Might Be in Your Genes

April 13, 2011 Jim Couch

Ever notice how some people have many cups of coffee each day, while some people are happy with just one cup?  The same observation might be made about cola drinkers.

It’s the caffeine –and your genetic makeup – that’s driving whether you are “satisfied” with just one cup or many cups.  That’s the apparent conclusion from researchers, and reported in the April issue of PLoS Genetics.

The study was conducted by researchers from the National Cancer Institute, Harvard Schoold of Public Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and looked at five studies of over 47,000 Americans of European descent.

Dr. Neil Caporaso, branch chief of genetic epidemiology at the National Cancer Institute was quoted as saying ”People don’t really suspect it, but genetics plays a big role in a lot of behaviors, such as smoking, and alcohol consumpltion.  And now it turns out that it has a part to play in how much caffeine we drink.”

“The point here is that the way we drink caffeine is not just random,” said Caporaso.  “It’s related to the genetic cards you were dealt.  And that means now we can dissect people into fast metabolizers and slow metabolizers: people who have just one small coffee and feel well-caffeintated for a day, and people who have two large ones and then another Coke a little later in the day to get the same effect.”

Since coffee has been shown to help prevent heart disease, strokes, certain cancers and a host of other ailments, lucky are those with the more dominant CYP1A2 and AHR genes — those are the genes identified with higher caffeine consumption!



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