Are you the type of person who wakes up and downs a large Americano coffee without a second thought? Or do you get the jitters from just a sip of cappuccino? New research suggests that the type of coffee drinker you are is actually coded in your DNA.
After examining 120,000 participants of European and African-American descent, geneticists at the Harvard School of Public Health pinpointed eight genetic variants — six of which were previously undiscovered — that predispose certain individuals to consume more coffee.
The Atlantic reports:
According to [lead researcher Marilyn] Cornelis, individuals whose DNA expressed all the variants tended to drink around half a cup of coffee more than those without them. Additionally, the new genes can explain about 1.3 percent of all coffee-drinking behavior, or about the same amount that genes can explain other habits, like smoking and alcohol consumption. While those effects may seem small, Cornelis said the study sheds light on why individuals' bodies and brains react differently to caffeine.
The results show that we tend to drink as much caffeine as our bodies can handle without becoming anxious, and that the amount of coffee it takes to reach the point of jittery no-return is genetically influenced.
What does this mean for you, the coffee drinker? If you think your morning mug of coffee might be a bad habit you need to kick, think again.
In recent years, research has shed a good deal of light on the health benefits of coffee. Not only does it keep you awake and alert during the first few difficult hours of your workday, but coffee may also help fight cancer, prevent diabetes, and boost your metabolism.
While some people don't need coffee to function, don't worry too much if your genes predispose you to love your morning joe; you're drinking down all the healthy benefits that may come with it.