Coffee may be good or bad for you based on your genes

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 10 months ago

Coffee is a staple for many, but what is its impact on our health? According to experts, the answer varies depending on genetic pathways and how our bodies respond to caffeine. While some studies suggest coffee has health benefits, others claim it is harmful. Clinical scientist Sara Mahdavi from the University of Toronto explains that many studies do not consider the genetics of the population consuming coffee. Thomas Merritt, a geneticist and professor at Laurentian University, agrees that how individuals respond to caffeine can vary based on their genes. Mahdavi suggests limiting caffeine intake to 200 milligrams per day, while Health Canada recommends up to 400 milligrams for adults who aren't pregnant or breastfeeding. Marilyn Cornelis, an associate professor of medicine at Northwestern University, has researched the genetics of coffee consumption and found that genes often affect how much coffee people naturally drink. Mahdavi's recent study suggests that genetic variants affecting caffeine metabolism impact whether coffee is beneficial or harmful to health. For those who metabolize caffeine quickly, there are definite health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart attack. Recent research shows that coffee can reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and Parkinson's disease. However, Mahdavi warns that slow caffeine metabolizers who consume more than 300 milligrams of caffeine per day may experience different health deterrents, including a decline in kidney function. The important thing, says Merritt, is to pay attention to how coffee makes you feel and reduce consumption if necessary. While coffee and caffeine had a bad reputation 20 years ago, better research now shows that coffee can have a beneficial impact on health. However, experts recommend being mindful of caffeine intake and understanding one's genetic makeup to determine how much coffee is suitable for them.


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