Sep 19, 2016

    Drink less coffee? It could be in your DNA

    IF YOU you get the jitters after a cup of coffee, it could be down to your genes.

    Coffee drinking habits are written into our DNA, a new study suggests, with some people's genetic make-up causing the caffeine hit to be felt more strongly.

    Researchers at Edinburgh University found that people with a variation in the PDSS2 gene tend to drink fewer cups of coffee.

    Experts say the findings suggest that the gene reduces the ability of cells to break down caffeine, causing it to stay in the body for longer.

    This means that a person would not need to consume as much coffee to get the same caffeine hit, the team says.

    The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

    Lead author Nicola Pirastu, a Chancellor's Fellow at the University of Edinburgh's Usher Institute, said: "The results of our study add to existing research suggesting that our drive to drink coffee may be embedded in our genes."

    Researchers looked at genetic information from 370 people living in a small village in south Italy and 843 people from six villages in north-east Italy.

    Each of the study participants was asked to complete a survey that included a question about how many cups of coffee they took each day.

    The team found that people with the DNA variation in PDSS2 tended to consume fewer cups than those without the variation.

    The effect was equivalent to around one fewer cup of coffee per day on average.

    The researchers replicated the study in a group of 1,731 people from the Netherlands, with similar results.