by Medindia Content Team on  March 8, 2006 at 7:49 PM Diet & Nutrition News
Caffeine metabolism tied to heart attacks
Your body cab decide whether you will be saved from heart disease if consume coffee.

Patients with non fatal heart attack in Costa Rica between 1994 and 2004 were studied and it was found that those with a gene variant that causes them to slowly metabolize caffeine have about a third greater risk of having a heart attack when they drank two or three cups a day, and 64 percent increased odds if they had four or more cups a day, compared with those who drank less than one cup a day.

This new study by researchers from Harvard University, the University of Costa Rica and the University of Toronto says that there are two kinds of people -- those whose livers process caffeine at a rapid clip, and those whose metabolism lingers over every cup.

According to Ahmed El-Sohemy, an assistant professor of nutrition science at the University of Toronto and lead researcher, "Depending on your ability genetically to detoxify caffeine, your response might be quite different than someone else. So, one cup of coffee for them might be the equivalent of four cups for the fast metabolizers."

The team studied 2,014 patients who had suffered a first acute -- but non-fatal -- heart attack over a 10-year period with 2,014 healthy but otherwise similar controls.

All were tested to see which gene variant they had, and questioned about food and drink consumption and other health habits, including smoking.

Fifty-five percent of the heart-attack patients and 54 percent of the control group were slow caffeine metabolizers; the rest carried the faster variant.

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