Does Coffee Consumption Drive Lifestyle Diseases?

The ‘cup of joe' that 54% of American adults consume every day, according to a survey, has a surprising effect on the risk of disease.

The ‘cup of joe’ that 54% of American adults consume every day, according to a survey, has a surprising effect on the risk of disease.

Coffee has no association with the development of lifestyle diseases, reported researchers from the University of Copenhagen and Herlev and Gentofte Hospital in Denmark. The team analyzed genetic variants in order to uncover specific genes linked to high coffee intake and how that affects risk for developing specific conditions such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome.

“We are the first in the world to have investigated the relationship with genes associated with a lifelong high consumption of coffee,” one of the authors Ask Tybiaerg Nordestgaard, of the Department of Clinical Biochemistry at the hospital, said in a news release.

Published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, the study included 2 cohorts consisting of 93,179 participants to identify a possible disease linkage with coffee consumption. The team also recorded if 5 genetic variants associated with the genes CYP1A1, CYP1A2, and AHR were factors behind an individual’s coffee intake. In addition, meta-analysis made up of 78,021 participants from the DIAGRAM consortium was reviewed to determine any genetic association with type 2 diabetes.

The findings showed 9-10 vs. 0-3 gene variants were associated with a 29% higher coffee consumption. The researchers found that coffee intake levels did not influence glucose levels. However, while high coffee intake was linked observationally with a low risk of the lifestyle diseases, there was not any genetic evidence backing up the association.

“These genes are completely independent of other lifestyle factors, and we can therefore conclude that drinking coffee in itself is not associated with lifestyle disease,” Nordestgaard explained.

Even though observational results showed a connection between coffee and diseases, the lack of statistical evidence disputes that.

“We can now see that the coffee genes are surprisingly not associated with a risk of developing type 2 diabetes or obesity,” one of the authors Borge Nordestgaard confirmed. “This suggests that drinking coffee neither causes nor protects against these lifestyle diseases.”