How much coffee you consume could be dependent on your DNA [Photo: unsplash.com via Pexels]
Can’t go longer than an hour without a caffeine hit? Or does one cup of the black stuff keep you feeling perky all day? Well according to science how much coffee a person needs/wants may be dependent on their genes. So if you get the jitters after just one cup or you need more than a double espresso to get a real hit, it could be down to your genetic make up.
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have identified a gene that may play a role in how the body breaks down caffeine. According to the study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, people who have a certain variation of a gene called PDSS2, will break down caffeine more slowly. That means the caffeine hangs around in the body that big longer, meaning you don’t need to chug as much coffee to get the same caffeine kick.
Researchers examined the DNA of around 1,200 people living in Italy and asked participants to complete a survey that included a question about how many cups of coffee they drank daily. They found that those with a certain variation in their PDSS2 gene tended to drink less coffee, by an average of around one cup a day.
Addicted to coffee? Blame it on your genes [Photo: stokpic.com via Pexels]
To confirm their findings, they repeated the study on another 1,700 in the Netherlands. The results were similar, although the effect on the number of cups of coffee people drank was slightly lower, which researchers attributed to a difference in the type of coffee people were drinking in each area. People in Italy tend to drink small cups of espresso, versus the larger cups containing more caffeine that are more common in Netherlands.
“The results of our study add to existing research suggesting that our drive to drink coffee may be embedded in our genes,” explains Nicola Pirastu, a research fellow in statistical and quantitative traits genetics at the University of Edinburgh and the lead author of the study.
“I think that this study reinforces the idea that genetics play a very important role in our everyday habits and lifestyles and understanding this is helping us not only know how people behave but also why, which will allow us to understand how to act on them,” she continued.
“In this specific case it seems to reinforce the idea that caffeine is probably the main biological driver of coffee consumption.”
So the next time you get the coffee-guilts as you sup on your fourth flat white, give yourself a break and blame it on your genes.
How much coffee do you drink a day? Let us know @YahooStyleUK