Saturday, March 18, 2006

Caffeine Metabolism Gene Tied to Heart Attacks

A research team led by Ahmed El-Sohemy of the University of Toronto conducted a study to determine whether there is an association between people with gene variations of the enzyme that metabolises caffeine in the liver, CYP1A2, consumption of coffee, and the risk of nonfatal heart attack.

The team found that the risk of heart attack increases for individuals who have a "slow" version of the enzyme as they increase coffee intake.

The Toronto-led team conducted a study of 4 018 people living in Costa Rica and found that the number of cups of coffee consumed and the age of the drinker made a difference for the "slow" caffeine metabolisers.

In that group, those who drank two to three cups of coffee a day had a 36% increased risk of a myocardial infarction (MI), or heart attack; that risk shot up to 64% with those who drank four or more cups a day.
I had no idea that there was a gene linked to slow or fast processing of caffeine. I can't wait for the day where you can send in your saliva and get a DNA test that tells you these kind of things. I process the caffeine really slow, so I bet have this gene. It would be cool if you could get tested for all sorts of drug metabolism genes.

How will your body react to alcohol? There is a gene that leads to the really flush face as one of the metabolised byproducts doesn't break down. Easy to test for. Would be good to know.

Or how about tobacco? Or if you live on the not so legal side, marijuana, speed, or LSD? I bet parents would pay to have their kids tested so they would know of potential issues.

Sounds like a good business. If anyone knows of such a company leave a comment. Or if no such company exists and you want to create it with me leave a comment as well.

via News 24

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