In case you hadn't seen this yet, a study was done showing that while slow caffeine metabolizers put themselves at greater risk for heart attack by drinking at least 2-3 cups of coffee a day, people who are fast caffeine metabolizers actually reduce their risk of heart attack by doing the same. A gene determines which sort of caffeine metabolizer you happen to be, with roughly a 50% chance either way.
Research suggests that some people who carry a particular variation of a gene cannot process caffeine as quickly as other people. Such individuals could be 60 per cent more likely to have a heart attack if they drink large amounts of coffee.
Canadian scientists have discovered that people with the slower metabolism gene variation, known as *1F, run a dramatically higher risk even if they drink only two cups a day.
However, the study suggests conversely that people with a different variant of the same CYP1A2 gene, called *1A, could benefit from coffee. It found that for these individuals the drink might offer some protection against heart attacks, although the figures are less statistically significant. Drinking one cup a day appeared to halve the odds of a heart attack for these individuals, while drinking two or three cups cut the risk by about 40 per cent.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, included 2,014 case patients with a first acute non-fatal heart attack and 2,014 controls, living in Costa Rica between 1994 and 2004. The “slow metabolism” genotype was found to be present in 55 per cent of the participants, who were Hispanic Americans.
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