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How Much Coffee You Drink Could Be Due To Genetics

It might be hard to believe, but the rich morning brew that so many cling to on their long commute to work has now been linked to genetics rather than a taste for the bitter roast. Meta-analysis completed by The Harvard School of Public Health as well as the Bringham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts have found biological and genetic reasons why the effects of coffee feel different to different people. While it’s true that not everybody will try it or like it in their lifetime, there are millions across the globe who enjoy it on a regular basis, each taking something different from this morning time beverage.

What Past Findings Show

In the past, caffeine has been studied in regards to genetic mechanisms driving the way that individuals react to the drug, but this latest case blows the whole idea wide open and gives proof that there is something here to really think about. In 2006, there were studies published in JAMA, showing the profiles of coffee drinkers at a genetic level, and whether drinking a lot of coffee has negative or positive effects on the human heart. The study at that time was conducted by the University of Toronto, which is located in Ontario, Canada. It found that one gene that is actually the cause of slow metabolisms for caffeine in certain individuals had a thirty-six percent higher risk of having a heart attack at some point throughout their life if three or more cups of coffee were consumed per day. They found this information by comparison this data between the same gene carrying participants who only consumed one cup each day. Other gene types relating to the metabolism of caffeine had a lowered risk for the same issue with higher intakes of coffee each day.

Studying The New Case

This latest research was conducted for the Coffee and Caffeine Genetics Consortium, and was also published in the Journal of Molecular Psychiatry. Researchers studied genomes of over one hundred and twenty coffee drinkers who consume the beverage regularly; participants being of African, European, or North American decent. Medical News Today explains the study in saying “The researchers identified two gene variants – POR and ABCG2 – related to caffeine metabolism and two gene variants – near genes BDNF and SLC6A4 – that may influence the “rewarding” effect of caffeine.”

Researchers also found that two other genes, GCKR and MLXIPL had, for the very first time, an association with the neurological and metabolic effects of the drug, caffeine. Research associate and lead author of this case, Marilyn Cornelis from the Department of Nutrition at Harvard’s School of Public Health said that the findings allowed the team to identify subgroups of drinkers who would benefit from an increase in consumption of coffee in relation to a healthier life based on genetics.

Visiting The Results

New studies on caffeine have also showed that by increasing the number of cups of coffee consumed regularly over a four year period by even one cup a day could lower the risk of diabetes by 11% when compared with participants in the group that didn’t change their drinking habits. This means a different way of thinking about what coffee drinking habits can do for your life long term. The authors of the genetics study actually argued on whether or not coffee drinking would be beneficial or have negative affects when consumed in larger quantities and it seems that the results vary. One author is quoted by Natural World News in stating: “Another recent study also showed how people with a “cold” personality – called alexithymia – tend to drink more coffee than people who better understand and embrace emotions.”

This may lead to numerous other studies in the future that aim to better understand the choice that coffee drinkers make and how it affects their mental and social behaviors as well as their physical health.

Known Benefits Of Coffee

You probably are well aware that caffeine can improve energy levels and help you focus better throughout the day, but the antioxidants that are loaded in this natural brew can also lower the risk for certain diseases and may even help with weight loss. Authority Nutrition expresses: “Several studies show that caffeine can boost the metabolic rate by 3-22%. Other studies show that caffeine can specifically increase the burning of fat by as much as 10% in obese individuals and 29% in lean people.”

Coffee also has some unique nutritional characteristics that can lead to a happier and healthier body, aside from its effect on your metabolism and its ability to give you the energy that you need for a run. Some coffee lovers don’t actually drink the brew, but instead, use the grinds as part of a skin regimen that allows for better circulation and a glow of fresh skin after exfoliation.

Claudette Zaremba, M.D.

Claudette Zaremba, M.D. is Board Certified in Family Medicine and practices Psychiatry in Alaska. Dr. Zaremba graduated Cum Laude in 1987 with a degree in Biology from the University of Houston and received her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in 1992, she went on to complete her Family Practice Residency at Dartmouth College in 2002 and completed her Psychiatry Residency at the University of California San Francisco in 1993. Dr. Zaremba is a member of the American Board of Family Medicine as well as the American Medical Association. Dr. Zaremba takes a holistic approach (“Whole Body”) to practicing medicine and believes good health starts with preventative medicine, Dr. Zaremba enjoys doing teleconsults and has been conducting teleconsults for the past several years. View the bio in detail.

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