How Your DNA Affects Your Coffee Craving

8 genes found to be at work
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2014 4:30 PM CDT
How Your DNA Affects Your Coffee Craving
Whether this picture appeals to you may be partially a matter of genetics.   (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong)

Whether you drink a cup or a pot of coffee per day depends in part on your DNA, as scientists have previously shown. Now, however, a research team has gone further, naming eight specific genes—six of them newly identified—that play a role in your coffee intake, the AP reports. In a paper out today in Molecular Psychiatry, the researchers explain that two of the newly found genes deal with how your body metabolizes caffeine; two are connected to its psychoactive properties, the Harvard Gazette reports.

The other two new genes haven't been biologically tied to caffeine—or even coffee—at all, the AP reports; they're connected to cholesterol and blood sugar. The identified genes don't account for a huge proportion of your habits: They're responsible for about 1.3% of how much you guzzle. Still, that's comparable in size to the known role of genetics in alcohol and tobacco use, says head researcher Marilyn Cornelis. One's culture could play a more significant role, the Gazette notes, and the researchers think there may be more related genes out there. The study's data combined information from many previous studies, covering about 120,000 people. (Read more DNA stories.)

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