Loving Coffee is in Your Genes

According to an article I found on ScienceDaily, the love of coffee (and more specifically, caffeine) just might be in your genes! One of the authors of the study shared the following: "Coffee and caffeine have been linked to beneficial and adverse health effects. Our findings may allow us to identify subgroups of people most likely to benefit from increasing or decreasing coffee consumption for optimal health." How can you identify which genes affect you? Well, that's a little more complicated. The study appears online October 7, 2014 in Molecular Psychiatry. For a long time, scientists have known (suspected) that the difference in how your body reacts to caffeine depends on the genes in your body. And now, they've started to pinpoint which genes those are. You may have heard of the Coffee and Caffeine Genetics Consortium (yes, that is a real thing). This study was conducted by researchers out of that initiative: they conducted a genome analysis of more than 120k regular coffee consumers of both European and African ancestry. Through this, they were able to identify two variants that affected the way that the body metabolizes coffee. There are two other variants that have been identified previous, and two other local variants might also affect the reward that the body feels when processing caffeine. What does these variants tell scientists? It's too early to be completely conclusive, but it seems that the strongest of the genes linked to caffeine and coffee consumption are related to the speed of caffeine metabolism, and what effects it has. So, next time someone bugs you for drinking too much coffee, just tell them: it's in my genes!

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