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Can’t resist your trips to Starbucks? Study reveals why some people drink more coffee than others

Researchers found that some people drink at least an extra cup of coffee every day because their genes contain a variation that breaks down caffeine quickly, leaving them wanting for more.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | August 26, 2016 1:11:01 pm
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Your absolute love for coffee is something that could be written in your genes, scientists claim.

Study has found that people with a certain variation of a gene do not need to consume as much coffee to get a caffeine high. This caffeine-indifferent gene is called PDSS2 and the variation in this gene reduces the body’s ability to break down caffeine. Thus, it stays in a person’s system longer than it does in someone who needs more of it.

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh and the University of Trieste, Italy, studied the DNA of around 3,000 coffee drinkers in the Netherlands and Italy. They found that the body systems of those without such gene variation can metabolise caffeine quickly and are more likely to drink at least an extra cup of their favourite beverage every day.

Participants were asked to complete a survey about how many cups of the hot drink they had each day. Researchers found that Italians with the DNA variation on an average, tended to drink one less cup of coffee a day than those without the gene variation.

The study also found that drinking habits of adults from Netherlands were affected slightly less. Experts reasoned that this could be because of the different styles of coffee that are drunk in the two countries. While in Netherlands, the preference is towards larger cups of coffee that will thus contain more caffeine overall, in Italy, people tend to drink smaller cups such as espresso.

Dr Nicola Pirastu from the University of Edinburgh told Daily Mail, “The results of our study add to existing research suggesting our drive to drink coffee may be embedded in our genes. We need to do larger studies to confirm the discovery and also to clarify the biological link between PDSS2 and coffee consumption.”

The findings were published in the journal Scientific Reports.

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