Tag Archives: Coffee

The genetics of coffee consumption

13 Oct

A paper in the journal Molecular Psychiatry reports on six genetic loci linked to coffee consumption. You can find the abstract here. PBS has a good summary.

“Findings published today in Molecular Psychiatry confirm the long suspected belief that genetics determine coffee drinking behavior. Scientists have now pinpointed six new gene variations that are more common in those who gulp down the caffeinated beverage frequently.

That’s in addition to two previously identified genetic variants that each code for biological traits. We now have eight loci on record that account for an underlying propensity to drink coffee.

The large-scale study of 120,000 regular consumers provided researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham Women’s hospital with ample data. In analyzing the subjects’ genetic makeup via DNA sequencing and comparing it to self-reported coffee drinking figures, the scientists were able to determine why some people need more of the stimulant than others for optimal caffeine effect.”

Is coffee good for us? Dr. Greger weighs in:

Caffeine deaths may be under-reported

16 Jul

Caffeine is the world’s most popular psychoactive drug and it is known to enhance certain cognitive processes. Beyond this, moderate coffee and tea consumption may have additional health benefits.

However, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports the widespread availability of  powdered caffeine and some high caffeine beverages may have resulted in a number of deaths:

“It’s difficult to get a lethal dose from caffeinated drinks because the stimulant also dehydrates its drinkers, she said. People who drink coffee and energy drinks urinate more frequently, and expel some of the caffeine from their system.

Espresso shots and powders have a much higher concentration of caffeine, making it easier to ingest a harmful amount.”

The article points to evidence that the number of caffeine deaths may be under-reported:


This video from Dr. Greger discusses both the benefits of caffeine and the dangers of caffeine overdose.



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