Is coffee addiction ‘hereditary?’

June 20, 2024  08:39

Is our taste for coffee passed down from our parents? Or is it because of our environment?

Researchers from the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and the University of California San Diego (UCSD) used genetic data as well as self-reported coffee-consumption numbers to assemble a genome-wide association study (GWAS), reports Western News. These types of studies use large volumes of genetic data to help researchers identify genetic variants, genes and biology associated with a particular disease or certain health traits.

The results showed a genetic influence on coffee consumption. In other words, the particular gene variants inherited from parents influence how much coffee you are likely to consume. The study was published in Neuropsychopharmacology.

However, the conclusions surrounding the health outcome of a cup of java were not so definitive.

The group’s genome-wide association study of 130,153 US-based 23andMe research participants was compared with a similar UK Biobank database of 334,649 UK residents.

The comparison revealed consistent positive genetic associations between coffee and harmful health outcomes such as obesity and substance use in both populations. This doesn’t mean that someone who drinks coffee is going to use other substances or develop obesity, rather that genetic predisposition for coffee intake is related in some way to these traits, said Hayley Thorpe, the lead researcher on the study.

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