When it comes down to it, the main active ingredient in coffee is caffeine. Caffeine is a plant alkaloid that occurs naturally in coffee, tea, guarana and kola nuts. It’s considered the most widely used drug in the world. The good news is that caffeine improves lung function, helps glucose metabolism in the gut, aids athletic performance, and is used in medications for ailments like migraines.
It turns out that your “cardiac twitch” is related to your caffeine metabolism – slow metabolizers of caffeine have a higher risk of heart attacks if they drink more than two cups of coffee per day; however, fast metabolizers have a reduced risk of a heart attack if they have at least a cup of coffee a day. I suggested that I run some genetic tests on my patient (and while I was at it, I thought I’d test myself). Knowing your genetic type is important here, as when it comes to CYP1A2 and coffee, there are some interesting facts.
Those of us with the AA variant of the CYP1A2 gene are fast metabolizers, while those with the AC or CC subtypes of the gene are slow metabolizers. The risky ones are the GA or AA variants.
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