For some people, there’s nothing more energizing than a cup of coffee in the morning. No matter you’re drinking coffee for the buzz it’s giving you, for its taste, or just for social reasons, it’s challenging to say no to a cup of hot coffee, black or with milk. However, some people love coffee, while others are hating it. The majority of those who appreciate it develop a caffeine addiction, and, according to a new study, this is linked to the genetic predisposition.
The research, whose report was published in Scientific Reports, involved two sets of data. The first one detailed that those people of European ancestry possess genetic variants that make them different tastes more intensely. The second data set was retrieved from 438,870 participants aged between 37 and 73 in the UK Biobank study which collected their genetic profile and their habits regarding beverages consumption.
According to the study, those with a genetic predisposition to the bitterness of caffeine are drinking more coffee, exposing themselves to caffeine addiction.
Caffeine Addiction Linked To The Genetic Predisposition
“Given humans generally avoid bitter tastes, we interpret these findings as possibly a learned behavior: if we can perceive caffeine well we associate this with the psychostimulant properties of caffeine and so seek more coffee,” explained Dr. Marilyn Cornelis, Ph.D. of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the co-author of the study. She added that the research provides more details on the reasons why some people choose coffee over tea.
“Our taste genes partially play a role in how much coffee, tea or alcohol we drink. The preference towards tea can be seen as a consequence of abstaining from coffee because our genes might have made coffee a little too bitter for our palates to handle,” also explained Jue Sheng Ong, a researcher at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Australia, and the leading author of the study.