If you're not familiar with the field of nutrigenomics, prepare to be amazed.
It turns out that caffeinated coffee can either be a medicine or a poison. At least when it comes to one particular risk: heart disease. And it all hinges on one specific gene, called CYP1A2.
You see, the CYP1A2 gene tells your liver to make one of two enzymes: CYP1A2 fast or CYP1A2 slow. Now, here's where it gets interesting.
If you have the gene that makes the fast version of CYP1A2, each time you drink caffeinated coffee, your body processes and eliminates the caffeine from your bloodstream very quickly.
That effect -- being a fast metabolizer of caffeine -- leads to a decrease in heart disease risk when you drink a moderate amount (two to four cups) of caffeinated coffee each day.
(Stay thirsty my friends!)
However, if you have the gene that makes the slow version of CYP1A2, each time you drink caffeinated coffee, your body processes and eliminates the caffeine from your bloodstream very slowly.
That effect -- being a slow metabolizer of caffeine -- leads to an increase in heart disease risk even when drinking the same amount of caffeinated coffee each day.
(Damn these slow genes!)
Crazy, isn't it? When it comes to heart disease risk, caffeinated coffee can actually be a "poison" for one person, and a "medicine" for another. It all depends on one little gene.