May 13, 2011 Nathan

Love Coffee: It’s in your genes

Most coffee drinkers I know probably described themselves as coffee drinkers by nurture, rather than by nature. My parents have always had pretty nice coffee machines (they drink decaf now). But it turns out if you think that, you’re wrong.

The two genes in question are labeled CYP1A2 and AHR. The former has previously been linked to the process by which caffeine is metabolized, while AHR regulates the activity of CYP1A2.

“Now, it’s been known for a few decades that this particular CYP1A2 gene is what metabolized caffeine,” Caporaso said. “But using new technology, what we now showed for the first time is that this gene appears to be responsible for the inherited differences in how people drink coffee.”

Pretty cool study over here. Now I can say “I can’t help it, it’s genetic” when people tell me I drink too much coffee. And I’m not alone.

“The study, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, noted that more than eight in 10 American adults who consume caffeine are coffee drinkers. Globally, caffeine is the most popular psychoactive substance, with 90 percent of people in the world consuming some form of it.”

More info on the study here.

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About the Author

Nathan Nathan is a coffee lover, home roaster, amateur barista and coffee tinkerer. He's married, has two kids, one turtle, and for a day job works for Creek Road Presbyterian Church. He previously worked in PR. This blog is his attempt to make coffee tax deductible.