1 in 2 of us have an increased risk of high blood pressure and heart attack from drinking more than 2 cups of coffee a day. Are you one of them? If you want to know how to find out, read on...
Like many of you, I didn’t used to feel fully awake without my morning coffee.
That buzzed up feeling used to carry me through the morning. But unlike other coffee drinkers, I found that it seemed to last until well after lunchtime, and if I had more than two in rapid succession, that wired energy tipped over into something a bit more manic!
Caffeine is the most widely consumed stimulant in the world, and for some has become almost ritualistic with the rise of coffee culture in the UK.
There have been mixed reports about the health risks or benefits of drinking coffee, but two landmark studies have now shown that the effect of coffee on cardiovascular disease depends on the variation in a gene called CYP1A2.
Variations in the CYP1A2 gene affect the rate at which caffeine is broken down, which in turn determines the impact on heart health.
We all fall into one of two categories, with roughly 50% of the population in each camp; slow metabolisers of caffeine or fast metabolisers of caffeine. Slow metabolisers of caffeine need to be aware that they have an elevated risk of high blood pressure and heart attack when caffeine intake is high. If you fall into this category, like me, you should limit your caffeine intake to 200mg per day (2 small cups of coffee) to minimise this risk.
Don’t forget, that although coffee is the most significant source of caffeine consumed, tea, some soft drinks, energy drinks and chocolate also contribute to caffeine intakes.