Caffeine – The genetic reasons why caffeine may destroy your health and fitness goals – especially on Keto.
Cytochrome (CYP)450 is the name of a set of genes we all have, genes which code for a family of enzymes involved in the metabolism of endogenous and exogenous chemicals. These CYP enzymes affect the way drugs & metabolites get absorbed, move through, are metabolized and are consequently excreted out of your body (Pharmacokinetics)
Our Genes can have variations, little ‘snips’ as they are colloquially known. It is these SNP’s (single Nucleotide Polymorphisms) that give us all the slight changes which make us individual. Which is why we all look different. It is also the reason why we all react to the same foods differently. What you may love to eat- and thrive on, may be highly inflammatory and catastrophic on a cellular level for your best friend.
Our genome is what makes us individual, and on the subject of nutrition, is what gives us the variables, the changes in the way our body metabolizes and reacts to foods on comparison to someone else.
One CYP450 enzyme- CYP142A accounts for over 95% of caffeine metabolism, and having the variation (SNP) 142A of this particular enzyme can alter the impact of coffee consumption on cardiovascular outcomes. For example, CYP1A2 >C SNP (*1F) reduces enzyme activity, slowing caffeine clearance. In individuals with this *IF variant, coffee consumption increases the risk of hypertension and myocardial infarction.
Where as, those with the SNP known as CYP1A2 > C SNP (*1A), caffeine has been found to be protective.
(ref: Cornelis MC, El-Sohemy A. Coffee, caffeine, and coronary heart disease. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2007 Nov;10(6):745-51)
Nutrigenetics is your individual genes response to food.
Nutrigenomics is how nutrition effects your gene expression.
So there it is, genetics! The reason why you will read one place, that a certain food or substance is great for your longevity and then another study to show consumption may be unfavorable. ” Not all humans are created equal when it comes to our genetic expression in relation to our modern day diet.
Here below are some physiological facts on the consumption of caffeine- planet earths most consumed beverage after water.
Did you hear about the teenage boy from North Carolina in the USA who died after drinking a latte and two energy drinks in May 2017?
The irregular heart beat caffeine gave that young man is just the tip of the coffee bean.
Do you aspire for balance in your life, with priority being your health and literally your vitality- having loads of energy to get the most out of your life? If so, and I do say this with some remorse, caffeine is at the top of your “must go” list. Crisis talks- I know, you see I too once loved the flavour and comfort, the social interaction and possibly most of all, the hit of what I thought was harmless energy that caffeine gave me. That was until I started to incorporate a ketogenic diet into my life style. There are many individual variables to a ketogenic diet that can bump you out of ketosis- and caffeine is one of them.
Caffeine lowers hydrochloric acid (HCL) in your stomach, reducing your ability to digest foods you eat- especially proteins. We have other digestive enzymes that are created in the pancreas, these enzymes lower with age as it is, so lowering the hydrochloric acid and acidity in your gut on top of the natural reduction of pancreatic acids, will only compound digestive dysfunction, reducing your ability to breakdown foods further. This lack of enzymes is the perfect environment for bad gut bacteria, candida, giardia, other fungus, parasites and literally a cast of billions of negative gut bacteria to thrive in your stomach and small intestine, impacting greatly on your immune system- reducing our immune system’s ability to protect us. SIBO- it’s a thing!
If you rely on caffeine to give you energy, then you are already in trouble, your endocrine system will already have imbalance. Caffeine forces the body to produce adrenaline, already tired and adrenally exhausted, caffeine will squeeze the hormonal life out of your adrenal glands, interrupting the delicate balance of your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis). When your HPA axis is interrupted, cortisol- your stress response hormone, can drop or spike. A spike in cortisol will induce an insulin response and drop in your DHEA. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is at the top of the hormonal tree- although not above Cholesterol, cholesterol is king of the mountain, and sits atop of DHEA when it comes to sex hormone production, but I don’t want to wander off-track talking about the importance of ensuring your cholesterol levels are up high enough to protect your brain, lets stick with DHEA and how it is required to make your other sex hormones of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
With lowered sex hormones- the loss of your sex drive is the least of your worries. From drinking coffee!
Trying to get your blood sugars under control can be hard when you are drinking a substance like coffee that can both spike and drop your blood sugar levels, this increases cortisol- leading again to a DHEA drop.
All of our hormones are connected, our endocrine system is one system, we have to look at the endocrine system holistically- as a whole, whenever there is any imbalance. Whether that be a thyroid issue, an adrenal issue, stressed, sleep disorders, issues with your menstrual cycle or sex drive- men and women, all these issues are inter-related and need to be looked at in that manner.
The diuretic effect of caffeine will induce electrolyte and mineral loss from the body- especially calcium loss from the bones. In many cases, mineral absorption is already a problem, under methylating for example is becoming increasingly more common, being an under methylator is the inability to utilize your B Vitamins properly- you can “pop” all the B Vitamin supplements in the world, if your not methylating them, your body isn’t going to absorb them and get the benefits from them.
Vitamin D is also an issue, in many cases people lack the enzymes in their body to efficiently absorb Vitamin D, so again, bake all you like- all you will do is burn, your body will not take up the crucial hormone that is Vitamin D- yep, vitamin D is a hormone also! Hence- you don’t need caffeine exacerbating the problem of vitamin and mineral mal-absorption. We need adequate Vitamin D to be able to absorb calcium as it is- Caffeine really knows to bring down a skeletal system one bullet proof coffee or latte at a time!
Caffeine increases blood pressure, and reduces your kidneys ability to detoxify, this over works your liver further reducing your ability to remove toxins from your body- you start to hold on to toxins and reduce elimination- caffeine!?
Already having a bit of trouble with reflux? Caffeine will reduce the function of the oesophageal sphincter. The OS is a bunch of muscles at the bottom of your oesophagus where your oesophagus meets your stomach- the OS muscles prevent food and stomach acids from heading back up your oesophagus from your stomach. It is these muscles that become weakened by caffeine- leading to food and stomach acids heading up- the wrong way and into your oesophagus (acid reflux). If left, acid reflux can lead to Barrett’s oesophagus and oesophageal cancer.
And finally -if there is one thing I don’t compromise on, its eating organic.
Coffee Beans that are not organic are the most heavily sprayed, of all crops. Pesticides are poison to the body, they absorb into the coffee beans acting as xenoestrogens in the body once consumed, inducing estrogen dominance.
So perhaps you are hanging onto the notion that caffeine is high in anti-oxidants? Sigh, coffee beans become denatured just one week after roasting. So, if you are not roasting your own organic beans and consuming within the week- those wonderful anti-oxidant benefits are gone! Save the antioxidant consumption for dark organic chocolate! Mmmm- Pana! One of my favorite dark organic chocolates- and able to be worked into a Keto diet.