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Can Caffeine Affect Your Genes?

Coffee beans, coffee grounds, coffee drink

Caffeine is a very popular, widely used stimulant that is often associated with a morning cup of coffee that provides you with a boost to start your day; however, coffee is not the only consumable that contains caffeine. Caffeine is present in teas, cocoa, many soft drinks, and energy drinks.

Caffeine affects people differently. Some are able to drink a cup of coffee before bed and still have a sound night of sleep, while others are still on a buzz four hours after consuming caffeine. Just as each person’s level of tolerance to stimulation differs, caffeine could have positive health effects on some individuals, and negative health effects on others.

 Is Caffeine Addiction Genetic?

The differentiation between people’s reaction to caffeine is genetic, and the secret lies in the way in which your body metabolises caffeine. A multitude of genetic variations have been identified, and are said to have an influence on the way in which a human’s body metabolises caffeine. These genes include CYP1A2, AHR, PDSS2, NRCAM and more. Essentially, variations in these genes determine whether your body (or more specifically, your liver), breaks down caffeine quickly and effectively, or not. It has also been suggested that the way in which your body metabolises caffeine, is similar to the way in which it metabolises certain medications.

Because of this, addiction to caffeine, or any negative effects it might have on your body, can be linked to a genetic predisposition. When you metabolise caffeine slowly, you tend to drink less of it; while if you can metabolise caffeine effectively, you will need more of it to elicit and sustain the effects it provides.

Caffeine Metabolism Test

Due to the adverse effects that caffeine can have on someone who metabolises it slowly, it is important to determine whether you should limit your intake, or potentially stay away from it completely. Negative effects can include increased anxiety, stomach irritation, nausea, and more. Some of the long-term effects for slow metabolisers include an increased risk of hypertension, a heart attack, and others.

At Geneway we provide at-home genetic testing kits that can determine a multitude of genetic predispositions, including caffeine sensitivity. To find out more about at-home genetic testing and how it can improve your life, contact us at Geneway.

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