You may have a predetermined genetic disposition for craving that second cup.
Some people just don’t need that hot cup of coffee to get the morning started, while others swear they just couldn’t face the coming day if they didn’t get their delicious morning beverage. Well, new research cited on time.com says the reason may be associated with your genetic make-up.
A team of researchers conducted a genome-wide association study on people living in Italian villages, and during the process, identified a gene called PDSS2, that they believe impacts the body’s caffeine metabolism. After asking the study subjects questions concerning their coffee drinking habits and regimens, they compared the Italians’ coffee consumption to that of a population of people living in the Netherlands.
Turns out, the segments of the population that have a greater expression of the PDSS2 gene tend to drink less coffee than their counterparts. It is believed that the gene plays a part in the production of proteins that work within the body to metabolize the caffeine contained in coffee, according to the study’s authors.
“The hypothesis is that people with higher levels of this gene are metabolizing caffeine slower, and that’s why they’re drinking less coffee,” offered Nicola Pirastu, from the University of Trieste and author on the study. “They need to drink it less often to still have the positive effects of caffeine, like being awake and feeling less tired.”
Previous studies have also linked genetics to the levels of consumption of coffee among certain groups of drinkers, and a number of studies have shown that the drinking of coffee is linked to actual health benefits, including lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes and healthier arteries, and even a possible benefit of longer lives for those regular consumers.
Pitastu adds, “Coffee, at least to some degree, is protective of some diseases and it may predispose to others– its kind of controversial. So understanding what is driving this and how we make food choices is very important.”
Findings from the study were published in the journal Scientific Reports.