Gene Variation and Coffee Consumption

Individuals who have a genetic variation associated with slower caffeine metabolism appear to have an increased risk of non-fatal heart attack associated with higher amounts of coffee intake, according to a study in the March 8 issue of JAMA.

Caffeine is metabolized primarily by the enzyme cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) in the liver. Variations of the gene for this enzyme can slow or quicken caffeine metabolism. Carriers of the gene variant CYP1A2*1F allele are "slow" caffeine metabolizers, while individuals with the gene variant CYP1A2*1A allele are "rapid" caffeine metabolizers.

Among the slow metabolizers, younger individuals showed an increased risk.
Among the fast metabolizers who were younger than 59 years of age, those who drank 1 cup/d or 2 to 3 cups per day had a reduced odds of a heart attack.

Coffee consumption linked to increased risk of heart attack for persons with certain gene variation

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