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The Reason Why You Can Or Can’t Live Without Coffee

Friday, October 31, 2014

Are you someone who cannot function on a daily basis without their regular hit of coffee?

Do you rely on a cup of morning Joe to transform yourself from someone who wouldn’t look out of place on an episode of The Waking Dead to a task-finishing machine with the efficiency levels of a futuristic Chinese supercomputer?

Or do you rarely touch the stuff and scoff at your friends who spend a small fortune every week at Starbucks or Café Nero?

More than likely it’s the former if you are reading this blog, and, if so, welcome to the club!


Why the division?

The reason why this split exists, according to a recent large-scale study, is down to good old genetics.

For a long time scientists have known that your DNA is responsible for how much coffee you consume, but these new findings have actually revealed, for the first time, the specific six genetic variants that are associated with habitual coffee consumption.

The six genetic variants

The research paper pinpointed that of the six genetic variants responsible, four are, unsurprisingly, linked directly with caffeine.

That is, the way in which your body breaks down the caffeine or how it responds to its stimulating effects.

However, the most interesting findings were the last two variants, which are not related to caffeine at all but rather the blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels in our body.

Also, interestingly, the study revealed that habitual coffee consumption was in no way related to how intensely people taste coffee.

The study

This new study was carried out by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital and published in the Molecular Psychiatry journal.

It looked at a pool of 20,000 people from African American and European ancestry and, in addition, drew data from earlier studies with a total of more than 120,000 people.

All participants in this research paper let scientists scan their DNA and provided information on how much coffee they drank.

Scientists then analysed the DNA looking for any differences between those who habitually drank coffee and those who did not.


This study will have more far reaching effects than just identifying why people are or aren’t addicted to drinking coffee.

The lead author of the study, research associate Marilyn Cornelis, concluded that:

“Coffee and caffeine have been linked to beneficial and adverse health effects. Our findings may allow us to identify subgroups of people most likely to benefit from increasing or decreasing coffee consumption for optimal health.”

Indeed, researchers believe that these findings will not only help explain why different people respond to coffee in different ways but also lay a foundation for further in-depth research regarding coffee, caffeine and health.

What do you think about these findings? Why are (or aren’t you) addicted to coffee?

We here at Cafe2U love to hear from you – so remember to get in touch with your comments!

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