News

Coffee Addiction May Be Genetic

If you’ve ever wondered why some people get jittery after one cup of Joe while you need three or four just to get moving in the morning, science finally has an answer.

News

Coffee Addiction May Be Genetic

If you’ve ever wondered why some people get jittery after one cup of Joe while you need three or four just to get moving in the morning, science finally has an answer.

Our DNA plays a role in our physical and psychoactive (mental functions like mood and consciousness) response to coffee and, in turn, influences how much of it we’re apt to drink, according to a Molecular Psychiatry study. Thanks, mom and dad. To come to this finding, Harvard researchers analyzed genetic variants from 120,000 study participants and asked them how many cups of coffee they drink each day. After comparing the data, they noticed a connection between six particular genes and the participants’ daily java habits.

Two of the genes impact how we metabolize caffeine, two are related to the drink’s psychoactive effects and the remaining genes plays a role in lipid and glucose metabolism—though how this affects coffee consumption is still unclear. Interestingly enough, these six genes explain about 1.3 percent of our coffee-drinking behavior. While that may seem like a drop in the bucket, that’s about the same amount our DNA influences other habitual behaviors like alcohol consumption and smoking, explain the researchers.

Sure, cultural popularity of coffee also influences how much of it you’re apt to drink, but if you’re having a hard time cutting back on your daily habit, it may not be your office building’s coffee shop that’s to blame.