Genetics Coffee and Craving

The amount of caffeine you consume might be influenced by DNA. Researchers have come to realize that DNA might be playing a very huge role in the way people are consuming beverages with caffeine such as coffee, foods like chocolate and tea. The research has some interesting explanations as to the reason some people are always taking many beverages with caffeine such as many coffee cups or cans of soda in a specific day. Of all the explanations, the fact that taking more cups could be a result of genetic variability is something that many were not aware of.

The study was done by a group of institutions such as the National Cancer Institute and the renowned Harvard School of Public Health as well as a couple of others. It was discovered there are two gene variations affecting caffeine metabolism and associated with the amount of caffeine some people take. Those individuals having variations of the two genes end up taking more caffeine, in this case, drinking more beverages containing the substance, as suggested by Cornelis C. Marilyn, PhD, a researcher in Harvard School of Public Health and the head of the study.

The two genes have been identified as CYP1A2 and AHR, where the first one has been determined for some time now as being effective in some role within caffeine metabolism. For AHR, it usually plays its influence on CYP1A2. An important aspect of the genes is that all the people have the same genes but the amount of caffeine drank is much different across the two gene variables. For instance, those with the highest consumption of gene variant for any of the two genes usually consume more milligrams of coffee (40) than those individuals who have gene varieties of the lowest consumption genotype. To get a clear picture of the amount consumed, a third of caffeinated soda or a third of coffee cup is equivalent to 40 milligrams.

The research was also very instrumental in giving more information on coffee intake in particular. For example, a person who takes many coffee cups in the office, home or across town in a single day might be carrying corresponding variations geared towards consumption of higher caffeine because of high intake. Many people probably think this high intake of coffee might be to enjoy some good feeling. The researchers did elaborate that such an intake of coffee might be in trying to have levels brought into the right proportion to have withdrawal symptoms done away with. In case such a person lacks a cup of coffee, they mostly become sullen, lack sleep and develop some hurtful headache. An individual with such a high intake of coffee can be confirmed as a caffeine metabolizer, while it is very clear this is not the only area genetics play some role. This genetic variability could also be playing a huge role in the way some behaviors are developed and maintained, such as smoking and consumption of alcohol.

The details on the research are gathered from five studies that were conducted from 1984 to 2001 with the conclusions derived from consumption of caffeine but in an average fashion through chocolate, sodas with caffeine, tea and coffee. The research had 47,000 participants drawn from Americans mostly from the white community of whom 80% got their caffeine from coffee as does a similar number of the adult population in the United States. What is much clear is that these variants of genetics have been affecting the way the body usually processes caffeine levels.

Caffeine is not only implicated in body processes but clear in the fact that the variants have an effect on other areas as well. For example, caffeine manifests in physiological and medical conditions as well, ending up influencing body moods, energy levels, physical performance, and mental ability and sleep patterns. These major conditions are usually affected or disrupted in case caffeine is withdrawn or dwindled. This is also true with products that contain caffeine such as coffee and their implication in a number of health conditions.

Researchers have also indicated that studying the effects of caffeine on body systems, for example within the cardiovascular systems is bound to be really tough if all the people being studied were processing the levels of caffeine in their bodies rather differently.

The new knowledge in genetics has been discovered to be very important in that it is able to advance research on caffeine while potentially being able to identify subgroups and in the definition via genotype of the part of the human population mostly susceptible to the use of caffeine. Researchers also indicated there might be other genes within the facets of caffeine yet to be discovered and more research is needed to give exact function of the required variants. The research does open the door for more research on genetics and their effect on the way people consume, process and maintain caffeine levels.