Coffee Questions

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Rainbow
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Coffee Questions

Postby Rainbow » Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:40 pm

I've been thinking about cutting back on coffee. Two questions I have are:

  1. Is there a mechanism through which coffee could interfere with insulin levels? I always thought that because black coffee is non-caloric, it doesn't spike glucose or contribute to insulin resistance. But a quick Google search seems to show that the waters are murky.
  2. Is coffee a bad idea for people with low COMT activity?
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xactly
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Coffee Questions

Postby xactly » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:05 pm

Unfortunately, I don’t know the answers to your questions about coffee, but I wanted to comment on managing low COMT activity.

Chris Masterjohn has a podcast episode on managing COMT status by addressing methylation. He has a second podcast about living with MTHFR that provides a protocol for enhancing methylation.

I know someone who is homozygous for both COMT V1258M and MTHFR C677T. I told him about the supplements Chris recommends for improving methylation. He started taking them a few months ago, and they have made a big difference for him. (I take them also because I’m heterozygous for C677T.)

BTW, Chris Masterjohn’s podcast is called “Mastering Nutrition.” “What to do about your COMT gene” is episode 42. “”Living with MTHFR” is episode 46.

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Whatnow
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Re: Coffee Questions

Postby Whatnow » Tue Aug 21, 2018 7:24 am

I have no idea about the COMT issue. What I am looking at currently is reducing and perhaps eliminating my coffee consumption due to recent reports that caffeine increases insulin resistance (exactly the opposite of what I want). I have seen reports in the popular press going back and forth over whether coffee is good for you or bad. My current understanding is that caffeine may be not so good for diabetics (I have type 2) but that something else in the coffee may be beneficial. I plan to switch, slowly, to decaf. From reading Satchin Panda's book I am also concerned about too much caffeine disturbing circadian clock.
If you learn anything more, I'd love to hear it.

Plumster
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Re: Coffee Questions

Postby Plumster » Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:24 am

I am not a medical doctor, so this isn't advice, just personal experience and online research:

I am homozygous for COMT (met, met) and coffee is a bad idea for me, as two cups of coffee in the early morning would keep me up all night (no exaggeration). But perhaps this isn't a problem for you. The body can get used to caffeine.

On a side note, are you a quick or slow coffee metabolizer? I am a quick metabolizer, which is good and bad. The good is that it leaves your system quickly; the bad is that you will likely not gain the AD preventative benefits from coffee. So, for me, being a quick caffeine metabolizer and COMT++ means that I really don't gain much from coffee. On the other hand, COMT++ seems to absorb tea polyphenols better, so we get lots of antioxidants that way.

Here's a list of things that we unfortunately can't handle well (the list is from Dr. Amy Yasko):
Caffeine
Turmeric (small amount ok)
Methyl B12 and methyl folate (use hydroxy or adeno or cyano B12 instead, and follow Masterjohn's recipe, as mentioned above)
CoQ10 (low dose ok)
Melatonin
Carnetine
TMG (small dose ok)
and the list goes on...

Also, found online: "the COMT enzyme processes the colors red and purple so that consuming red or purple herbs or foods and drinks actually slows this enzyme down further. Synthetic red coloring agents are worse (red licorice)."
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e3/4 MTHFR C677T/A1298C COMT V158M++ COMT H62H++ MTRR A66G ++ HLA DR

Whatnow
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Re: Coffee Questions

Postby Whatnow » Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:59 pm

Rainbow,
I made the mistake of looking in to the coffee/insulin question some more this afternoon and now I am back in the murk. The increase in insulin resistance may be short-term and not quite as significant as I had thought. That, combined with the suspected reduced risk of alzheimers may have me back on my regular, and much loved, coffee tomorrow.

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Re: Coffee Questions

Postby aphorist » Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:22 am

Rainbow wrote:I've been thinking about cutting back on coffee. Two questions I have are:

  1. Is there a mechanism through which coffee could interfere with insulin levels? I always thought that because black coffee is non-caloric, it doesn't spike glucose or contribute to insulin resistance. But a quick Google search seems to show that the waters are murky.
  2. Is coffee a bad idea for people with low COMT activity?


In a cross-over study, coffee drinking raised basal insulin levels

van Dam, R., Pasman, W., & Verhoef, P. (2004). Effects of Coffee Consumption on Fasting Blood Glucose and Insulin Concentrations: Randomized controlled trials in healthy volunteers. Diabetes Care, 27(12), 2990-2992. doi:10.2337/diacare.27.12.2990

I think the problem w/ large amounts of caffeine is the effect it has on catecholamines and the 'chemical stimulation' of fight/flight response. It's ultimately inflammatory and there was a recent headline/paper that said ~5 cups of coffee a day worsened Alzheimer's symptoms.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321406.php

I've not read that paper.

My guess is there probably is some kind of U-shaped response where 1-2 cups is probably fine, depending on whether or not you have the gene for fast/slow metabolizer of coffee. If you are a fast metabolizer, then more is probably OK.

I think green tea is preferred over coffee.

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Rainbow
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Re: Coffee Questions

Postby Rainbow » Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:12 pm

xactly wrote:Chris Masterjohn has a podcast episode on managing COMT status by addressing methylation. He has a second podcast about living with MTHFR that provides a protocol for enhancing methylation.

Thanks xactly! I'll definitely look into Chris Masterjohn's resources. My mom and I both have COMT and MTHFR mutations.
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Rainbow
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Re: Coffee Questions

Postby Rainbow » Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:16 pm

Plumster wrote:On a side note, are you a quick or slow coffee metabolizer? I am a quick metabolizer, which is good and bad. The good is that it leaves your system quickly; the bad is that you will likely not gain the AD preventative benefits from coffee. So, for me, being a quick caffeine metabolizer and COMT++ means that I really don't gain much from coffee. On the other hand, COMT++ seems to absorb tea polyphenols better, so we get lots of antioxidants that way.

Here's a list of things that we unfortunately can't handle well (the list is from Dr. Amy Yasko):
Caffeine
Turmeric (small amount ok)
Methyl B12 and methyl folate (use hydroxy or adeno or cyano B12 instead, and follow Masterjohn's recipe, as mentioned above)
CoQ10 (low dose ok)
Melatonin
Carnetine
TMG (small dose ok)
and the list goes on...

Thanks for all the info, Plumster. I'm also COMT++ and a fast metabolizer. It seems like I can't tolerate more than one cup of coffee a day before running into sleep and anxiety issues. The green tea sounds like good news, though!
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Rainbow
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Re: Coffee Questions

Postby Rainbow » Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:31 pm

aphorist wrote:In a cross-over study, coffee drinking raised basal insulin levels

van Dam, R., Pasman, W., & Verhoef, P. (2004). Effects of Coffee Consumption on Fasting Blood Glucose and Insulin Concentrations: Randomized controlled trials in healthy volunteers. Diabetes Care, 27(12), 2990-2992. doi:10.2337/diacare.27.12.2990

I think the problem w/ large amounts of caffeine is the effect it has on catecholamines and the 'chemical stimulation' of fight/flight response. It's ultimately inflammatory and there was a recent headline/paper that said ~5 cups of coffee a day worsened Alzheimer's symptoms.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321406.php

I've not read that paper.

My guess is there probably is some kind of U-shaped response where 1-2 cups is probably fine, depending on whether or not you have the gene for fast/slow metabolizer of coffee. If you are a fast metabolizer, then more is probably OK.

I think green tea is preferred over coffee.

The Diabetes Care paper is quite interesting. Thanks aphorist! What you're saying about a U-shaped response makes intuitive sense to me.
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Rainbow
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Re: Coffee Questions

Postby Rainbow » Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:45 pm

Whatnow wrote:Rainbow,
I made the mistake of looking in to the coffee/insulin question some more this afternoon and now I am back in the murk. The increase in insulin resistance may be short-term and not quite as significant as I had thought. That, combined with the suspected reduced risk of alzheimers may have me back on my regular, and much loved, coffee tomorrow.

The study does seems to suggest that it's short-term, but I don't get the sense that the effects of caffeine on insulin sensitivity are well-understood (at least not from this particular study). Putting that aside, my decision to reduce intake is mostly because I feel significantly better (calmer) on less caffeine. The COMT++ is probably the best explanation I have for why this happens. Now it's a battle between me and my dopamine receptors. I do find caffeine pretty addictive, but have been managing to survive on no more than a single cup for the past four days. This is a major achievement for me :lol:
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