Science proves lasting coffee buzz a matter of genes

Approx Reading Time-10For those amongst us who can survive on a solitary coffee, now we know why. You’re genetically pre-disposed be more affected, according to a new study.


Ever wonder why some coffee drinkers can get their buzz on from one thuggachino a day, while others need a constant intravenous source lest they fall into a hopeless puddle? My initial thought was that it was those shackled to a busy schedule, or indeed those lacking in sleep or self-control, are the ones you see incessantly supping coffee throughout the day.

Well, good news there, because it might not actual be your fault. There may be a scientific reason behind it.

Your genes control the amount that you drink, or rather the effect of that it has.

A group of researchers from the University of Edinburgh and Trieste, the Burlo Garofolo Pediatric Institute in Italy, and the Erasmus Medical Center and PolyOmica, a data analysis company based in Groningen, the Netherlands, have conducted some tests and come up with results to why some people need a higher caffeine consumption.

They identified a gene that tends to curb your coffee consumption. Apparently, people with a DNA variation in a gene called PDSS2 tend to drink fewer cups of the liquid gold. Basically, the gene reduces your ability to break down caffeine, causing it to stay in your body longer. Which explains the mysterious “one-and-done” folks in the office who are still perky when the clock strikes 3pm.

The researchers looked at a group of participants from the Italy and the Netherlands. Each participant was asked to fill out a survey, including the question “How many cups of coffee do you drink per day?”. The researchers found that the people with the DNA variation in PDSS2 tended to drink less coffee than the people without the variation.

Dr Nicola Pirastu from 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. We need to do larger studies to confirm the discovery and also to clarify the biological link between PDSS2 and coffee consumption.”

So don’t judge. Maybe a T-shirt slogan needs to be made for people who possess the PDSS2 variation: “Don’t be gene-ist, I’m doing my darndest.”


Don’t hate, Angela, I’m merely a victim of my genes. Now if you’ll excuse me. It’s approximately morning coffee o’clock.


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