Coffee Can Break Your DNA!


So many studies say coffee is hurting you
or coffee is helping you… everyone wants something out of coffee, but
all it wants to do is give! Howdy hot brown water hawkers, Trace here
for DNews. Scientists have again, and again, and again
tried to find out what coffee is doing to the human body. A study in Scientific Reports lays out nicely,
“coffee consumption has been linked to protective effects on various common pathologies such
as cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases,
type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and hearing functions, and it may predispose to
others such as sleep disturbance.” Whew. Scientists have been studying coffee since
the 1960s, and a 1972 study in Cell’s Biophysical Journal tried to find out exactly what it
was doing to our cells, noting caffeine binds to broken DNA, and that if it’s present during
the formation of new DNA, it can cause breaks in chromosomes (which is why we’ve long known
pregnant humans shouldn’t consume it). We’ve also found that when DNA is broken by
other processes, caffeine can play with those broken pieces, keeping them DNA broke. But confusingly, a study in March 2016’s Molecular
Nutrition & Food Research found coffee drinking reduced DNA breakage by about a third, and
that reduction continued for hours! So, coffee (or caffeine really) can break
DNA, or keep it from being broken, depending on when the coffee hits your DNA. It’s important to note, DNA breakage is not
necessarily a bad thing; normal cell functions can break it, but so can UV light, and certain
chemicals, and irradiation. More research be needed. In the decades since we started looking into
coffee and caffeine, study after study keeps coming out talking about DNA… For example, a study in the European Journal
of Nutrition found spontaneous DNA strand breaks were somewhat less likely in those
who drank dark roast coffee. A 2012 study in Cell Metabolism found the
DNA of people who exercised had fewer methyl groups — a specific type of chemical marker
that occurs when DNA goes through a chemical change. Caffeine mimics that methylation! This shows exercise and coffee affect the
DNA pretty dynamically! Another pair of studies, one with Italians
(who do love their caffé) and another in the Netherlands (the Dutch drink 2.6-times
more coffee than Americans), found people who drink coffee pass their habit to their
offspring, pinpointing several genes associated with coffee drinkers! Which is interesting, because a study in Scientific
Reports found a mutation on gene PDSS2 which is associated with drinking fewer cups of
coffee. In a twin study using both identical and fraternal
twins, the identicals had higher correlations of habits like smoking, coffee drinking and
alcohol consumption; indicating to the researchers there was a genetic component. But it’s not just genetics… You can change your DNA with your behaviors
in life — this is called epigenetics. A study in Biochimie found mice that were
chronic over-eaters, passed genetic markers to their offspring which then had higher levels
of insulin resistance… so they were more likely to be diabetic. Could this happen with coffee too? More research is needed again. In my opinion, a lot of these studies have
more to do with our love of coffee than the magical powers of this beverage we happen
to drink. Coffee drinking is really common. According to the International Coffee Organization,
over nine billion kilograms of coffee were consumed in 2015-16. Most of the countries on our planet consume
coffee, it’s one of the most consumed beverages anywhere (tea is the tops, of course), and
is one of humanity’s primary sources of the drug caffeine. And yet, it’s super interesting that we still
don’t know a lot about the epigenetics of coffee. And remember, it’s not just about coffee. All DNA is constantly affected by the food
you eat. DNA is created, copied and created throughout
your life — so you are literally what you eat! So next time you’re having a java, think about
your kids. Because what’s happening to them? Who knows! More research is needed and science is awesome. Also I need a coffee. Sorry unborn kid. When you don’t get your coffee are you a monster? Is there a monster inside of you? You should watch the show of that same name
on Animal Planet GO! (Seriously, it’s about parasites and worms
and it’s amazing, also they have cheesy computer animation). Download animal planet go from the app store,
or use the link in the description. Are you drinking too much caffeine? Do you know the medical limit? Find out in this video: OMG that video is
so old. My hair. Weird. Have a favorite coffee? Tell us cause I want it. Go down in the comments, let us know. Make sure you subscribe for more DNews. Thanks for watching.

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