Coffee Cravings May Spring From Your DNA

Genes appear to influence how much caffeine you need

Anybody up for a steaming cup of Joe? Turns out your DNA may hold the answer.

New research suggests that your genes influence how much coffee you drink.

Researchers analyzed genetic data from more than 1,200 people in Italy, who were asked how much coffee they drank each day.

Those with a gene variant called PDSS2 drank one cup less a day on average than those without the variation, the investigators found.

Research involving more than 1,700 people in the Netherlands yielded similar findings, according to the study authors.

The findings suggest that PDSS2 reduces cells’ ability to break down caffeine. That means it stays in the body longer.

The upshot: People with the gene variant don’t need as much coffee to get the same caffeine hit as those without it, the researchers said.

“The results of our study add to existing research suggesting that our drive to drink coffee may be embedded in our genes,” said study author Nicola Pirastu. He is a chancellor’s fellow at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

“We need to do larger studies to confirm the discovery and also to clarify the biological link between PDSS2 and coffee consumption,” Pirastu added in a university news release.

By Robert Preidt


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