Researchers at Tel Aviv University have determined that certain beverages alter the length of the copy and repair accessories at the ends of our DNA, known as telomeres. Although the role of telomeres is not completely understood it is believed shorter telomeres are associated with cancer risk (doi: 10.1002/ajhb.21127). The Tel Aviv researchers studied yeast that has many of the same genes as humans. They identified 400 genes that work together to determine telomere length. Many environmental stresses were imparted on the genes with no effect on telomere length. However, when the genes were exposed to a low concentration caffeine they shortened and when they were exposed to alcohol they lengthened (doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003721).
My poor little telomeres must be exhausted, yo-yo’ing between the coffee induced shortening of the morning and the alcohol encouraged lengthening of the evening. But, hey, at least it all balances out.
I read about this research at Science Daily. Check it out!