Early mornings call for coffee. Mid day pick me ups call for coffee. Long nights of studying call for coffee. And cute, artsy pictures most definitely call for coffee. From sipping pumpkin spice lattes for Snapchat to downing 5 cups a day to stay awake, coffee is such a large part of today’s society. Coffee came to America in the mid 1600’s and thus coffee shops began to appear. Tea had always been the preferred drink until it was being taxed too high for people to keep up with. Therefore, the Boston Tea Party switched America’s preference from tea to coffee, which brings us to where we are today.
There are always new studies coming out about coffee, most of them discrediting myths. Have you ever heard that coffee will stunt your growth, help you lose weight or even sober you up? While unfortunately none of these myths are true, there is a new study that just might explain your constant coffee craving…it’s genetic! Researchers are looking into a gene that may explain why some people drink more coffee than others.
A genetic variant called PDSS2 may be the reason why some people don’t drink as much coffee. In the study, they tested people’s DNA to look for the gene and then questioned them about their coffee drinking habits. The study found that people with the gene drank less coffee than people without this specific gene. Researchers believe that the gene affects how caffeine is metabolized in the body. People with the PDSS2 gene metabolize caffeine more slowly than people without the gene. Therefore, those without this gene need more coffee to feel that buzz because their bodies process the caffeine quickly. Surprisingly enough, this coffee gene is quite common.
This quick look into this specific PDSS2 coffee gene opens up several other discussions about food preference genes. By looking into other food specific genes, scientists may be able to determine why people don’t like certain foods or even why the most pickiest of eaters are the way that they are. If there was some way for people to know these facts about themselves, it may change their eating habits in a positive way. There are endless options when it comes to genetics just waiting to be uncovered!
If you are one who drinks several cups of coffee a day, don’t fret! It just may not be in your genes. If you are one who drinks little to no coffee, don’t fret! It just may be in your genes. Either way, genetics are genetics and they are not something we can easily change about ourselves. This shouldn’t discourage anyone to the point of “To drink another cup or to not drink another cup, that is the question!” In the end, we have to make it through the long day some how whether it’s by drinking one cup a day or ten!