What does the daily cup of coffee have to do with our genes? Quite a lot, according to a newly published study from an Edinburgh University research team. The coffee gene, or as it is scientifically known, PDSS2, causes different people to react to coffee in different ways.
Over three and a half thousand Europeans from different countries and even different regions within the countries took part in the survey.
The study even goes as far as taking note of the traditional way in which people of a certain nation usually drink their coffee.
Once all the data was gathered and sorted, the Edinburgh research team quickly came to an obvious conclusion: genes such as the coffee gene may affect the way we live our lives and form our habits without us ever finding out about it.
What Does the Coffee Gene Actually Do?
According to the study data, the PDSS2 gene dictates the cellular breakdown rate of certain substances and chemical compounds, part of which is also caffeine. In other words, the coffee gene tells our body how much coffee we need to drink.
Individuals with PDSS2 gene variations that accelerate the breakdown rate basically need less coffee because they better manage all the caffeine they ingest.
Meanwhile, some people will have different variations in their coffee gene which might get them to drink more coffee than usual in order to get the same average required level of caffeine. This latter category does not always include caffeine addicts.
Across the world, different peoples have different common variations in the PDSS2 gene, leading to several different coffee habits and traditions.
For example, Italians drink small cups of concentrated espresso because their genes allow them to assimilate a small but strong burst of caffeine throughout the day. Meanwhile, the Dutch do much better with a large cup of less powerful caffeine. The coffee gene in the Netherlands predominantly dictates a slower assimilation of caffeine.
Coffee has a mixed reputation. When consumed in small to moderate daily quantities, it can greatly benefit our bodies and increase our longevity. However, caffeine can cause addiction and drinking way too much coffee can prove to be lethal.
Although the study does show some amazing insight into how genes, such as the coffee gene, dictate our habits and daily lives, it will be some time until we will individually be able to know exactly how much coffee we individually need on a daily basis.