Researchers Probably Just Found the Coffee Addiction Gene

Researchers Probably Just Found the Coffee Addiction Gene

A recent study suggests that those morning coffee cravings may have a genetic underpinning. Researchers found that people with a genetic variant tend to drink less coffee than their peers that lack the gene.

A study involving 1,200 healthy individuals from Italy revealed that the genetic variant PDSS2 is responsible for a slower break down of caffeine in one’s body. As a result, people who have the gene tend to drink fewer cups of coffee per day than their less fortunate peers.

This may finally explain why some people crave several cups of coffee per day while others think that one or two cups are enough. The recent study is in line with previous research papers that had revealed a strong link between coffee addiction and the genetic makeup.

Apparently, it is genes that control the amount of coffee we sip, not the quality of our sleep.

Studies on coffee addiction and its relationship with heredity have been conducted since the early 1960s. In fact in 1962, a research paper suggested that coffee-drinking habits may run in the family. More recently, comprehensive studies have suggested that several genes may play a role in regulation of coffee consumption.

The latest study, however, is more precise. Study investigators claim that they detected a gene variant that determines how much of the dark brew we regularly consume.

Researchers explained that the recently found genetic variation limits the body’s ability of digesting caffeine. As a result, people who have the PDSS2 gene in their system need a lot less caffeine intake to feel alert. This is because the substance lingers longer in their blood stream.

Study investigators said that they replicated the findings on a slightly larger cohort of coffee drinkers from the Netherlands. A separate research on 1,731 Dutch adults confirmed the Italian study’s results. The sole difference in the two studies was a lower number of coffee cups drank on a daily basis by the Dutch cohort.

Researchers now hope that a larger-scale analysis will confirm their findings. But until then, the research team is confident that they pinpointed a gene with a huge impact on coffee drinking.

According to lead author Nicola Piratsu, the research clearly suggests that people’s drive to consume coffee is determined by their genes. Piratsu is a genetics professor at the University of Edinburgh n the U.K.

Coffee’s Health Benefits

Nevertheless, regardless of how disheartening the findings may be to some, there is also a bright side of coffee consumption. Several studies have found that the dark brew may have many health benefits.

For instance, a 2014 study has revealed that 200 mg of caffeine or two cups of coffee per day help boost memory. Another study found that coffee consumption may lower the risk of developing a common type of liver cancer. Coffee may also help reduce risk of other conditions such as skin cancer and multiple sclerosis.

Scientists reported the latest findings Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports.
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