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Monday 24th October 2016

Coffee break-through

9th March 2006

10032006_coffee.jpgA study has suggested that drinking large amounts of coffee each day could increase the risk of heart attack for people with a particular genetic profile.  Those who were slow at breaking down caffeine were 64% more likely to suffer a cardiac arrest. The study, pubished in the Journal of the American Medical Association, moitored four thousand people in Costa Rica.

Experts in Britain have said that for most people other lifestyle choices, such as smoking, diet and exercise, are far more likely to affect their heart health than the occasional cup of coffee.

Variations of the gene which control the action of the enzyme cytochrome CYP1A2 can slow or quicken the speed at which the body processes caffeine. Participants were asked about their coffee consumption, and genetic tests were used to determine which variation of the gene they had.

Carriers of the 'slow' form of the gene who drank two to three cups of coffee a day had a 36% increased risk of heart attack, compared to those who drank less than one cup a day.
Drinking four cups or more increased heart attack risk by 64%. The increased risk was particularly evident in people under 50.

By contrast, one to three cups seemed to protect those individuals whose genes made them fast metabolizers. However the difference disappeared if they consumed more.

The researchers also concluded that one cup a day is not associated with any harm, regardless of your genetic make-up. For the general population it would seem that coffee drinking in moderation is perfectly safe.

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