For some people, a cup of coffee feels necessary just to get out of bed. For others, coffee is more of a luxury, a drink they treat themselves to on special occasion. Wherever you may lie on this spectrum, recent research points to genetic markers as an explanation for why some people are more prone to become coffee lovers than others.
Researchers have found that there is a specific gene in your DNA that is directly related to coffee consumption. In this study, researchers asked over 1,200 people living in Italy to describe the amount of coffee they drink on a daily basis. They then took each of the individual responses and compared the participant’s coffee intake to gene PDSS2, a gene that plays a role in the way a person metabolizes coffee.
After gathering this data from this Italian population, researchers then replicated the study with over 1,700 people in the Netherlands. (Researchers made sure to include another population of people in a different location to ensure that these findings could not be explained away by location). Within both populations, scientists were able to see a direct correlation between those who reported high consumption of coffee with the expression of the “coffee gene”.
|Believe it or not, coffee love may be in your genes. Source: genome.gov|
Those study participants who claimed to drink small amounts of coffee would generally have a higher expression of the gene PDSS2, and those who said they drink large amounts of coffee had lower expressions of the gene. Scientists hypothesize that the higher the expression of this particular gene, the slower your body is able to metabolize coffee. High expression of this gene means that the positive effects of coffee last longer in your system, resulting in a person needing fewer cups of coffee to feel the benefits.
The findings in the study may also lead researchers to carry out similar research related to food, alcohol, and drug consumption. Searching for markers in DNA to help explain a person’s dependency on certain substances could be a huge breakthrough for the medical community.