It wasn’t but a few weeks ago we learned that coffee’s positive or negative effects on you may be due which variant of the CYP1A2 gene you possess. Now, Science Daily is reporting that coffee consumption itself could also be coded in your genes, and it is thanks to an entirely different gene than the one explored in the previous study.
Performed by the University of Edinburgh, this new study looks into the PDSS2 gene and how it relates to coffee consumption. They did this by examining 2,943 people from three distinct populations – 370 from a village in southern Italy, 843 from northeastern Italy, and 1,731 from the Netherlands – cross-referencing which variant of the PDSS2 gene is expressed in each test subject versus their stated coffee consumption.
The researchers found that a certain variation of the PDSS2 tended to lead to lower coffee intake, around a cup per day on average in the Italian populations, though slightly lower in the Dutch; the study notes this drop-off may be due to the Italians favoring espresso, a smaller and less caffeinated drink than that of the filter coffee preferred by the Dutch.
According to the researchers, this finding suggests that, similar to CYP1A2, the PDSS2 gene affects the body’s ability to break down caffeine. If this is the case, it would seem to agree with the research from Dr. Marilyn Cornelis, an assistant professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine who believes the metabolism of caffeine is not the work of a single gene. In fact, she was part of a study that shows eight genetic variants have a hand in a person’s caffeine affinities.
Who knows what make us love coffee? One gene, two genes, red genes, blue genes. Science has yet to come to a consensus. All we can say for sure is that we don’t really have a choice in the matter. We’re just giant lumps of atoms careening recklessly down the deterministic slip’n’slide that is life.
Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network.
*top image via Quotesgram