Reaction to coffee in your genes

Caffeine affects different people in different ways—and genetics could be the reason. Scientists have previously believed there is a genetic connection between individual responses to caffeine, but singling out the specific genetic variants has been a challenge. A recent study published in Molecular Psychiatry, however, provides new insight.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston performed a meta-analysis on 120,000 regular coffee drinkers. Participants came from different ancestries–American, European and African ancestry.

Two gene variants were identified in connection to caffeine metabolism: POR and ABCG2. Two other gene variants near genes BDNF and SLC6A4 were associated with the “reward” effect of caffeine Also, the genes GCKR and MLXIPL, which play a role in glucose and lipid metabolism, were connected to the metabolic and neurological effects of caffeine for the first time.

The study is believed to be a major step forward in the research of coffee effects. It could help scientists identify subgroups of people most likely to benefit from increasing their coffee intake and those who would be better off if they cut back.

Source: health central