Friday, March 31, 2006

Gene spells danger for coffee addicts

A gene that controls how fast your body breaks down caffeine might explain why some people can get away with drinking lots of coffee and others can't, new research suggests.

People with a genetic variation linked with slow caffeine metabolism are more likely to have a nonfatal heart attack, the researchers write today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The researchers looked at 4024 people who lived in coffee-rich Costa Rica between 1994 and 2004. Half had had a nonfatal heart attack, and half had not.

They found that slightly more than half had the slow version of the gene while the others had the fast form.

"We found in individuals who had the slow version of this gene, as little as two cups of coffee a day is associated with an increased risk of heart disease," says study author Dr Ahmed El-Sohemy of the University of Toronto.



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