London, Jul 10 : Coffee neither increases nor decreases the risk of lifestyle diseases such as obesity and diabetes, according to a first-of-its-kind study that used genes to investigate the impact of drinking coffee on the body.
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen and Herlev and Gentofte Hospital based their study on genes as genes play a role in how much coffee we drink in the course of a day.
The study is based on DNA and information about coffee drinking and lifestyle diseases from 93,000 Danes from the Copenhagen General Population Study.
"We are the first in the world to have investigated the relationship with genes associated with a lifelong high consumption of coffee," said medical student Ask Tybjaeg Nordestgaard from the Department of Clinical Biochemistry at Herlev and Gentofte Hospital.
"These genes are completely independent of other lifestyle factors, and we can therefore conclude that drinking coffee in itself is not associated with lifestyle diseases," Nordestgaard said.
The researchers looked into a number of genes that affect the desire for coffee. If people have the special coffee genes, they may be drinking more coffee than those not having the genes.
"We can now see that the coffee genes are surprisingly not associated with a risk of developing type 2 diabetes or obesity," said Boerge Nordestgaard, clinical professor at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, and senior physician at the Department of Clinical Biochemistry at Herlev and Gentofte Hospital.
"This suggests that drinking coffee neither causes nor protects against these lifestyle diseases," he said. The study has been published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.