Caffeine’s neuroprotective effects dependent on genetic makeup, says study

Only those with a certain genotype get added protection from Parkinson's Disease by drinking more coffee; others already have built in protection

Researchers at Linköping University in Sweden say they have discovered genetic variations in caffeine’s protection against Parkinson’s Disease.

Their study published in the journal PLOS One identified a variant of the GRIN2A gene (CC-type) which could protect against Parkinson's when combined with a high caffeine intake through coffee consumption.

It means that those with the gene can boost protection against Parkinson’s Disease (PD) by drinking more coffee. However, those with another variant of the GRIN2A gene (TC type) already have protection and their defence against PD will not be boosted by increased caffeine intake.

Genetic variations

“Caffeine integrates with a dopamine receptor that regulates the flow of calcium into the cell. As dopamine is part of the human reward system, and the interaction of caffeine with it, it has been speculated that individuals with certain genetic variations are not “rewarded” to the same extent by a cup of coffee, and therefore would not enjoy the same protective effect as others. The newly published study shows that GRIN2A can be a part of such a genetic predisposition,” said the researchers.

Under the study, the researchers analysed the genetic variants in GRIN2A in 193 PD patients and 377 controls across two counties in south east Sweden. They found differences between those with a CC GRIN2A and a TC GRIN2A genotype.

They distinguished between light (under 237.8 mg/day) or heavy caffeine consumers (over 237.8 mg/day) using questionnaires.

CC and TC types

Those with in the CC group who had a heavy caffeine intake reduced their PD risk by 47% compared to those with a low caffeine intake.

But those with in the TC cohort already had a 47% PD risk reduction regardless of the caffeine dose “Increasing caffeine dose does not have any further additive effects,” said the researchers.

However: “...PD susceptible CC genotype carriers can get benefit from increasing amount of caffeine intake for PD risk reduction by 58% with 200–≤400 mg/day, by 80% with 400–≤600 mg/day, and by 79% with >600 mg/day,” said the researchers.

Sweden had a high per capita roasted coffee consumption than international standards at 9 kg in 2004. By comparison France had a 4.4 kg rate and the Netherlands 7.1%

Under the study, the CC genotype was the most common. 159 PD patients and 284 in the control group had this genotype compared to 30 (PD) and 88 (control) with a TC genotype. Five in the control group and four in the PD group had an alternative TT genotype.

PLOS One, 9(6): e99294
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099294
‘Caffeine Interaction with Glutamate Receptor Gene GRIN2A: Parkinson's Disease in Swedish Population’
Authors: Naomi Yamada-Fowler, Mats Fredrikson,  And Peter Söderkvist

Related News

Dr Dani Zamir: "The challenge now is to translate these decoded genomes into new and improved tools for plant breeding..."

Coffee genome sequenced: Researchers drink to greater caffeine control

“It takes a good personal trainer or nutritionist several months to figure out what kinds of exercise and diet interventions work best for a client," said Mark Gilbert, MuscleGenes co-owner.

MuscleGenes introduces genetic testing for fitter future

The website bulk is one of the sources of powdered caffeine sold as a dietary supplement.

CSPI asks FDA to ban powdered caffeine sold as a dietary supplement

Not everybody looking for a caffeine boost is looking for extreme sports and sugar, says maker of new caffeine strips

Big Tobacco eyes caffeine growth with oral strips

Coffee contains elements that contribute to colorectal health and may explain its preventive properties. (© Easy Company)

A couple of coffees a day keeps bowel cancer at bay: Study

The results go some way in supporting claims that caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea and cola beverage have a role in halting cognitive decline. ©iStock

Caffeine exhibits role in warding off dementia, study shows

Züm XR has expanded its extended-release, encapsulation R&D capability fourfold, according to the company.  Züm XR photo.

Züm XR farms out beverage brand, expands R&D for extended release caffeine ingredients

The average cup of coffee or tea can contain between 40 - 150 mg caffeine. Over-the-counter supplements that are used to combat fatigue typically contain 100–200 mg caffeine per tablet. ©iStock/Tracey Hebden

Students given ‘300 coffees’ worth of caffeine in experimental error

Elevated levels of the inflammatory protein IL-1β has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. ©iStock/ArtTim

Does caffeine keep you younger for longer? Stanford study thinks so

The enzyme NMNAT2 is significantly reduced in Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases. ©iStock/XiXinXing

Caffeine may protect brain against dementia, study shows

In addition to standard beverages, a number of other caffeinated products, such as maple syrup, beef jerky, and donuts, have entered the market, suggesting substantial consumer interest in diverse sources of caffeine. ©iStock/ratmaner

Storm in a teacup? Review deems four coffees a day as safe


Genetic testing can have implications for use of caffeine in sports nutrition

Barry Callebaut says its coffee method can reduce the bitterness of high cocoa chocolate

Dark chocolate bitterness can be reduced with green coffee, finds Callebaut

Coffee polyphenols show heart health potential for healthy men: Study

Coffee polyphenols show heart health potential for healthy men: Study

German coffee company Tchibo is building the science and IP for 'healthy' coffee

Could coffee protect DNA from damage?

Related Products

See more related products

Comments (1)

American Beverage Association, ABA Communications - 21 Aug 2014 | 05:42

ABA Comment

In addition to the fact that caffeine has been safely consumed in foods and beverages for centuries, this study adds to other credible research documenting the potential health benefits of caffeine. In other words, the billions of people who routinely consume caffeine can continue to do so with confidence, and the knowledge that this ingredient may even enhance health. -American Beverage Association

21-Aug-2014 at 17:42 GMT

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.