Coffee addiction may be grounded in genes


Genetics may help determine how much caffeine one craves, new research indicates, with differences in two specific genes driving people to consume more — or less — of the world’s most popular stimulant.

New research suggests that individuals who carry a so-called “high-consumption” variation of either gene appear to drink more coffee, relative to those who carry a “low-consumption” variant.

“It’s really an incredible story,” said study co-author Dr. Neil Caporaso, branch chief of genetic epidemiology at the National Cancer Institute. “People don’t really suspect it, but genetics plays a big role in a lot of behaviors, such as smoking and alcohol consumption. And now it turns out that it has a part in how much caffeine we drink.”

The two genes in question are labeled CYP1A2 and AHR. The former has previously been linked to the process by which caffeine is metabolized, while AHR regulates the activity of CYP1A2.

Continue sipping…

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