Is caffeine good or bad for you? There have been many studies on the subject, yet the results are inconclusive and in many cases, conflicting. Turns out, that’s because whether caffeine is good or bad for you depends in great part on your genes.
Caffeine is cleared from your body by the liver using the enzyme CYP1A2. It’s this enzyme that determines how quickly our bodies break down caffeine. At Frélii, our DNA test can reveal whether you are more likely to quickly and efficiently metabolize and eliminate caffeine from your system or you metabolize caffeine more slowly. Slow caffeine metabolizers (those who are sensitive to caffeine) can suffer from a variety of side effects if they consume too much caffeine:
- Skin problems such as hives, eczema, rashes, acne, severe itching
- Headaches or migraines
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Can’t focus or concentrate
- Tongue, glands, or throat swelling
- Heart racing or palpitations
- Angry, irritable, bad mood
- Extreme jitters
Research has shown that while slow caffeine metabolizers are much more likely to suffer adverse effects from caffeine, those who can metabolize caffeine quickly can actually benefit from it. Surprised? One study, for example, showed that fast metabolizers who drank 1-3 cups of caffeinated coffee daily had a significantly reduced risk of a heart attack. Slow caffeine metabolizers, on the other hand, had a significantly greater risk of a heart attack with that same level of daily caffeine consumption. Studies have shown the same conflicting results for hypertension: Slow caffeine metabolizers who are moderate to heavy coffee drinkers are significantly more likely to have high blood pressure. Fast metabolizers of caffeine? The more coffee they drank, the lower their risk for high blood pressure! Scientists think this is why so much of the research that’s been done on coffee and caffeine have produced such different results.
If your DNA test shows that you have caffeine sensitivity, you might want to:
Consider a supplement that supports your liver. Our supplement, “L,” can help your liver function at its best and also assists with normal digestion.
Exercise daily. Activity is a great way to help your body metabolize caffeine and rid your body of toxins. There are so many other health benefits of a daily exercise habit that you’ll want to work it into your routine.
Get enough sleep. Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep each night. There’s no substitute or shortcuts to adequate sleep. For some people, caffeine can make getting to sleep difficult. If you have sensitivity to caffeine and still want to drink caffeinated beverages, try to stop or cut down on the consumption of caffeine after noon each day.
Limit or stop the consumption of caffeine. If you enjoy drinking tea or coffee, try caffeine-free varieties. If you enjoy soda, try caffeine-free cola or seltzer water instead.
Did you know that normal adults start to feel the effects of caffeine typically within about 15 minutes? Effects of caffeinated beverages can last as long as six hours! Certain health conditions may increase the time it takes the liver to clear the caffeine from your body.
How much caffeine is too much? The safe amount of caffeine can vary based on a person’s tolerance, sensitivity, weight, age and health history. As a general rule, most healthy adults should try to consume only up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day, according to the Mayo Clinic. That’s roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola or two “energy shot” drinks. Children ages 13-18 should get no more than 100 milligrams per day.
Certain medications can amplify the negative effects of caffeine. For example, ephedrine, used in decongestants, can, when combined with caffeine, raise an individual’s risk of high blood pressure or heart attack. Theophylline, used to relax and open air passages and make it easier to breathe, can, if taken with caffeine, cause heart palpitations. The herbal supplement echinacea can make it more difficult for the liver to metabolize caffeine.
Ready to gain some insight about your DNA and find out more about what makes you so unique? Our DNA test reviews 100 times more genetic data than ANY other test on the market. You’ll discover specific information about your unique traits and certain health conditions. Get started today! Order HERE.