By Alex Mitchell, Health
Now Canada is putting coffee on ice.
(MAINNEWS) – After the country’s health officials released new guidance that having over two drinks a week can be a health detriment, now research from the University of Toronto says heavy coffee consumption is cause for concern as well.
“These findings suggest that heavy coffee intake is associated with increases in the risk of kidney dysfunction among slow metabolizers of caffeine, who genetically comprise approximately half of the population,” an excerpt from the data read, adding that illnesses like hypertension could emerge.
“We made a discovery back in 2006 with a case control study, where we showed that coffee increases the risk of a heart attack, but only in those who have a particular version of a gene that makes them effectively slow metabolizers of caffeine,” Ahmed El-Sohemy, a professor of nutritional sciences at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, told the Toronto Star.
“Slow metabolizers are less able to get rid of caffeine efficiently from the body, so, it’s more likely to have adverse effects in the people who can’t get rid of it,” he added.
Fortunately, the other half have the genetic makeup to break down coffee’s biggest perk without worry.
Even if you feel jittery after a huge cup of joe — or experience, say, anxiety or withdrawal headaches — you may have the gene that quickly breaks down caffeine, according to the professor.
“Often, when I give a talk, someone will say, ‘oh, I’m definitely a slow metabolizer because if I drink a cup of coffee in the afternoon it keeps me up at night,’ ” El-Sohemy said. “But there’s currently no link in terms of those types of physiological responses to caffeine and speed of metabolism.”
Genetic testing — which usually runs about $200 and takes over a month to get results — is the only way to determine what sort of brew you are made of, according to the Star.
El-Sohemy says its not worth the hassle and recommends people err on the side of coffee caution.
“I’d advise people just assume they’re a slow metabolizer and limit intake to one cup per day.”
Last month, researchers a province over at the University of Quebec said that lowering coffee intake could combat climate change due to the reduction in pollution from making a pot.