Your Genes Play a Role in Why You're Obsessed With Coffee

·1-min read
Photo credit: marcoventuriniautieri - Getty Images
Photo credit: marcoventuriniautieri - Getty Images

You may be in the camp of absolutely loving coffee, or thinking it's the most disgusting swill on Earth. Either way, your genes could be to blame according to Dr. Karan Raj, a surgeon with National Health Service in the UK and a popular medical TikToker with over 4.4 million followers.

"There are at least six genes related to how your body processes caffeine," he says in a recent video, going on to explain four of the coffee-related genes.

The BDNF and SLC6A4 genes influence how you experience the rewarding effects of caffeine, explains Dr. Raj, and depending on how they're wired, can make you crave coffee even more.

The CYP1A2 gene relates to how your body metabolises and breaks caffeine down. If you have the CYP1A2*1A variant of this gene, you're a "rapid" caffeine metaboliser, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"Those who break caffeine down more quickly are more likely to drink more [coffee] because the effects wear off faster," says Dr. Raj. "This may also explain why some people can drink coffee late in the day and still get a good night's sleep."

Lastly, the TAS2R38 gene is connected to the taste receptors on your tongue which allow you to taste bitterness, explains Dr. Raj. "If you have two copies of this mutated gene, you'll be less sensitive to bitter taste," he says. "And you're more likely to love and [really enjoy drinking] coffee."

Whether coffee is or isn't your jam, there's nothing wrong with you. We're all just wired differently.

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