“The fact of the matter is 50% of the population has a gene variation along the CYP1A2 gene that prevents them from manufacturing an enzyme that metabolizes caffeine effectively. Half of the population has this problem. I have this problem.
There’s no test right now that I’m aware of to see if you have this gene variation. So what I want you to do instead is go on the Mayo Clinics website and look up caffeine toxicity, which is a real condition. You're going to read the symptom presentation list and you're going to find yourself there. You're going to say, gee, yeah, I get shaky about a half an hour after I have caffeine or yes, I do get headaches after I have caffeine, but then I just drink more caffeine and hope it's going to go away.
What it means is that your body is not metabolizing the caffeine effectively. There is a situation in which you can create caffeine toxicity where the half life of caffeine breaking down takes so much longer for you, because of this gene variation, this enzyme deficiency, that the caffeine that should be breaking down in 4 to 6 hours in a normal person is taking you anywhere from 12 to 24 hours to break down. So that morning cup of coffee is still in your system at 10 at night, which if you're in perimenopause or trying to conceive or in your luteal phase is going to make you very symptomatic. So it's not doing you any favors.
“So that morning cup of coffee is still in your system at 10 at night”
Most women struggle with hormonal issues because of the connection between the CYP1A2 gene and the CYB gene, which can create issues with estrogen metabolism. If you have other things going on with your cycle, like fibroids, like PCOS, like PMS, there's a greater chance that you may have this gene variation for caffeine. I want you to connect the dots for yourself and I want you to not be dogmatic just because some dude said it's really good to have caffeine on an empty stomach. It really is for dudes, but it might not be good for you.
I want you to do a little investigation and experimentation for yourself and see what happens when you don't have that on an empty stomach. The vast majority of cultures, especially the blue zones, for which longevity is a result of their lifelong exposure to diet and lifestyle inputs, do not consume caffeinated beverages on an empty stomach, ever. They're used as digestive aids postprandial, after meals. It's really a bizarre thing that we've taken this beautiful coffee culture from these blue zones and then made it a meal replacement over here, which is not ever how it was intended to be used. Let's jack it up, do it all on an empty stomach, double latte grande, add shots to it, the souped up version, right? It's no good.”
Want More? This is an excerpted transcript from our interview with Alisa Vitti, HHC — listen or watch here!