Canada cancels booze, coffee is next

Health officials in Canada have recently provided updated guidance on the importance of limiting alcohol consumption to two drinks per week. The latest research from the University of Toronto suggests that heavy coffee consumption may also pose a health risk.

In 2006, a case-control study uncovered that coffee consumption increases cardiac risk – but only in those with a certain gene. Ahmed El-Sohemy, a professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine, informed the Toronto Star that those with this gene are “slow metabolizers”, meaning they are unable to effectively rid the body of caffeine after consumption.

On the other hand, those with the genetic makeup to quickly break caffeine down are able to enjoy coffee without worry. Although some may feel jittery after consuming coffee, El-Sohemy explained that this response has no connection to the speed of metabolism.

The only way to determine which gene one has is through genetic testing, which can take over a month and cost $200. El-Sohemy advises that people assume they are “slow metabolizers” and limit their intake to one cup per day.

Last month, researchers from the University of Quebec proposed that decreasing coffee consumption could reduce pollution and help combat climate change.