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coffee, conflicting studies, and the influences from genetics

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 Posted 2/21/2012 6:53:07 PM


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I took a genetic test from recently, out of curiosity.  One of the traits they identified is slow coffee metabolism, which could increase my risks of a heart attack from caffeine consumption.  More detailed information here on the particular gene:

I regularly consume a moderate amount of coffee, so this makes me a bit concerned. (I recently switched to Rich Rewards  -- excellent product by the way!!!).

Checking the LEF site references related to cardio vascular effects of coffee, I found one study on Japanese (Koizumi) and another large one which indicated it did not increase mortality but benefits were not conclusive (Lopez Garcia).   It'd probably difficult to interpret without more detailed studies, but it makes me realize how much genetics could be affecting nutritional research studies...

We often hear about different/conflicting results (be it coffee or nutrition or supplements) -- I wonder how often the mixed results can be due to genetics, such as how the body metabolizes compounds.  Consider, when a study shows minimal positive or negative benefit, is it because it decreased risk for 70% but increased risk even more for the other 30%?  Seems likely we'd be underestimating positive benefits or overestimating negative benefits due to the mixed populations.   

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 Posted 2/22/2012 5:05:37 AM
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This abstract reports a slight benefit on cardiovascular mortality.

This abstract reports a benefit for coffee on all cause mortality but doesn't report cardiovascular mortality.  These a benefit for women in both cardiovascular and all cause mortality.

Others of interest:

On the other hand, this study found an increase in CAD risk associated with coffee only in smokers.


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 Posted 2/22/2012 5:12:49 AM
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From memory of what I've read, two to four cups of regular coffee per day help most people.  Interestingly enough, decaffeinated is not as good, due to the chemicals used to take out the caffein.
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