We all love coffee thanks to the positive effect that caffeine has on our minds, making us productive, focused, and alert. But coffee consumption is not equal for everyone; genetics play a key role in whether it also has additional health benefits. Some studies have shown that caffeine can be harmful for you heart, while others imply that a few cups of coffee (which is high in caffeine) a day is beneficial for health. This apparent contradiction has long been a point of contention for dietitians.
The contradiction exists because while caffeine is considered unhealthy, there are other substances in coffee which are extremely healthy. It was recently discovered that genetic testing can be used to determine whether coffee is truly healthy on an individual level. As it turns out there two types of people, divided approximately 50/50 in the population: fast and slow caffeine metabolizers. Fast metabolizers have a more active form of cytochrome P450 in the liver which helps them to metabolize caffeine more quickly, decreasing the negative effect of caffeine. Others metabolize caffeine more slowly, so the negative effects of caffeine are more noticeable. In this case, the fast metabolizers of caffeine are less affected by its negative health effects, meaning the benefits of coffee’s goodness, such as antioxidants, are able to shine through. On the other hand, slow metabolizers are so affected by the caffeine that the good stuff is completely negated, and they are more at risk for negative effects.
The difference is so big that for fast metabolizers, 2-3 cups of coffee per day actually decreases the odds of heart disease, while for slow caffeine metabolizers more than 1 cup per day is not recommended.
Our DNA Lifestyle Coach test will discover your genotype and provide your with actionable recommendations about how you metabolize coffee.