Blame Your Genes For Your Coffee Addiction

Blame Your Genes For Your Coffee Addiction

Some people can’t start the day without a piping hot cup of coffee (or two, or three). Now, scientists have identified a gene that may explain why some people drink more coffee than others.

By looking at populations of people in villages in Italy, researchers conducted a genome-wide association study in which they examined markers in DNA and identified a gene called PDSS2 that could play a role in caffeine metabolism. In the study, which was published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports, the researchers asked more than 1,200 people in Italy how much coffee they drank and compared their consumption and genetic results to another population of 1,731 people in the Netherlands.

They found that people with greater expression of the PDSS2 gene also reported drinking less coffee. The gene is thought to regulate the production of proteins that metabolize caffeine in the body, the study authors report. “The hypothesis is that people with higher levels of this gene are metabolizing caffeine slower, and that’s why they’re drinking less coffee,” says study author Nicola Pirastu of the University of Trieste in Italy. “They need to drink it less often to still have the positive effects of caffeine, like being awake and feeling less tired.”

The study isn’t the first to link genetics to a propensity to drink more or less coffee. An October 2014 study analyzed the genes of more than120,000 coffee drinkers and found six genetic markers that were associated with a person’s responsiveness to caffeine, as TIME reports.

“Coffee, at least to some degree, is protective of some diseases and it may predispose to others—it’s kind of controversial,” says Pirastu. “So understanding what is driving this and how we make food choices is very important.” Coffee has been linked to a variety of health benefits like healthier arteries, a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and potentially even a longer life.

Pirastu adds that one of the pathways in the body that metabolizes caffeine also metabolizes some medications. “Knowing the genotype of this gene may [also] explain why people react differently to different drugs,” he says.

Video on this topic

Tip Tuesday: still blaming your GENES?!

Tip Tuesday: still blaming your GENES?!

Did you know that you can actually only blame your parents (aka your genes) for about 60-65% of your health? Yup. So who's responsible for the other 35-40%?

Are you a drama queen? Blame your genes

Are you a drama queen? Blame your genes

Drama queens - we've all met one, and you might be one. Some of us avoid drama, for others, it's their life; they live it, they breath it, and we can now confirm, ...

5 Traits You Didn't Know Were Genetic!

5 Traits You Didn't Know Were Genetic!

We know our genetics play a leading role in many aspects of our life. From the way we look, what diseases we're prone to, & even parts of our personality.

Can You Legitimately Blame Your Bad Hair Days On Your Genes?

Can You Legitimately Blame Your Bad Hair Days On Your Genes?

Do you seem to have bad hair days more than anyone else you know? You might be able to blame your parents for that--or your grandparents. According to ...

Are Your Parents To Blame For Your Bad Acne?

Are Your Parents To Blame For Your Bad Acne?

Recent studies have shown that several types of acne are genetic. But if it's influenced by genes, can there actually be cures for acne? Why Do We Get Acne?

The truth about Epigenetics and Health: Stop Blaming your disease or obesity on Genetics!

The truth about Epigenetics and Health: Stop Blaming your disease or obesity on Genetics!

There is no such thing as a genetic disease inheritance, or the genetic factor causing your health issues. The true cause is epigenetics and in this video I will ...

Coffee Lover? Blame Your Genes

Coffee Lover? Blame Your Genes

For some, coffee is the true nectar of the gods, while others won't touch a drop of the stuff. Now, a new study reveals how genes influence people's preferences ...

Should You Blame Genes For Your Grades?

Should You Blame Genes For Your Grades?

Can you blame your genes if you get bad grades? Crystal Dilworth joins DNews to reveal the shocking truth! Follow Crystal on Twitter: ...

Late sleeper? Blame your genes.

Late sleeper? Blame your genes.

If you're not a morning person, science says you probably never will be. Subscribe to our channel! http://goo.gl/0bsAjO Vox reporter Brian Resnick explains the ...