Genetics of Caffeine Metabolism and MI, Gulp

An article published in JAMA last week showed that coffee drinkers that are slow metabolizers of caffeine are at greater risk of heart attack.  [Gulp] Caffeine is metaboized via an enzyme (CYP1A2) that lives in the liver.  Genetic polymorphisms of this enzyme are common.  Some people metabolize caffeine more quickly or slowly than others, related to which version of the CYP1A2 gene they have. [Gulp]

The slow metabolizer variant (CYP1A2*1F, nomenclature here) is quite common, at least in Costa Rica where the study was undertaken–54% of the population were carriers of *1F allele. [Gulp]


Figure: The cup of coffee
I’m currently drinking is
approximately the size
of a small dog.

Cornelis MC, El-Sohemy A, Kabagambe EK, Campos H. Coffee, CYP1A2 genotype, and risk of myocardial infarction. JAMA. 2006 Mar 8;295(10):1135-41.

Medscape CME (bug-me-not username/password)

University of Toronto Department of Nutritional Sciences

Caffeine at Flickr, (circumstantial favorite)


One Response to “Genetics of Caffeine Metabolism and MI, Gulp”

  1. Trackbacks on March 20th, 2019 4:53 pm

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