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Induction of CYP1A2 by heavy coffee consumption in Serbs and Swedes

  • Pharmacogenetics
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European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology Aims and scope Submit manuscript



To investigate the influence of coffee consumption on CYP1A2 enzyme activity controlling for the effects of smoking and oral contraceptive (OC) use among Serbs and Swedes and to compare CYP1A2 activity between the two populations.


Data on oral contraceptive use, habitual coffee consumption and smoking habits were obtained from 100 Serbian and 149 Swedish healthy volunteers using a detailed questionnaire. CYP1A2 activity was estimated by plasma paraxanthine/caffeine (17X/137X) ratio analysed by reversed-phase HPLC after oral administration of 100 mg caffeine.


Daily consumption of at least three cups of coffee significantly increased CYP1A2 enzyme activity in both Serbs (P = 0.0002) and Swedes (P < 0.0001). Among non-smokers and non-OC users, heavy coffee consumption significantly increased CYP1A2 activity in Serbs (mean difference 0.11; 95% CI of the mean difference 0.04, 0.18; P = 0.003) and Swedes (mean difference 0.07; 95% CI of the mean difference 0.01, 0.12; P = 0.02). Significantly higher 17X/137X ratio was detected in Serbian smokers compared to non-smokers. There was no significant gender difference in CYP1A2 activity in Serbs. Controlling for the effect of smoking, heavy coffee consumption habit and oral contraceptive use, significantly lower 17X/137X ratio was observed in Serbs than in Swedes (P = 0.0003).


Habitual heavy coffee consumption increases CYP1A2 activity. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons formed during roasting of coffee beans might partly be responsible for this effect. The reason for the observed lower CYP1A2 activity in Serbs as compared to Swedes remains to be investigated.

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Authors would like to thank all volunteers who participated in the study; Ksenia Goryachkina, Sarah Nanzigu and Dejan Simic for providing blank plasma samples; and Jolanta Widen, Dragana Nedovic and Sladjana Petrovic for their technical assistance. The study was financially supported by the Swedish Research Council, Medicine, 3902, the Ministry of Science, Republic of Serbia, 145005 and the Swedish Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

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Authors have identified no conflict of interest in relation to this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Eleni Aklillu.

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Djordjevic, N., Ghotbi, R., Bertilsson, L. et al. Induction of CYP1A2 by heavy coffee consumption in Serbs and Swedes. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 64, 381–385 (2008).

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