Coffee. It’s that one thing most of us can’t live without. It jolts us awake, and it keeps us awake. Whenever we need a perk-me-up, we instantly think of coffee. We can all agree that coffee is great. But there’s one thing we don’t all agree on, and that is…
How much coffee is enough?
For some, one cup is all they need to stay alert the whole day. For others, it’s two or three. And for a few, it could be six or more. Hey, chances are we even have that one friend who drinks so much coffee and still manages to fall asleep.
So how can people like that survive megadoses of coffee?
Turns out that it may be in their genes. New research from Nicola Pirastu and her team in the University of Trieste in Italy has found out a gene that’s responsible for it. The research was published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature – which means it’s pretty much legit.
What does this “coffee addiction gene” do?
The gene, with the quirky name PDSS2, seems to slow down the metabolism of caffeine in the body. With that, the caffeine inside of us hangs around for longer. In turn, we don’t crave as much coffee as our caffeine-addicted friends. But in their case, they have a mutated version of the PDSS2 gene, which doesn’t slow down the metabolism of coffee. What this means is that their bodies break down caffeine a lot faster, so its effects don’t last as long.
And that could be why they have to drink lots more coffee.
So let’s give that one friend some slack. Let him have a few more cups.
P.S. This is new research, so don’t be too quick to conclude.
The researchers did say that more study is needed to know why PDSS2 makes you want to drink more or less coffee. Yes, coffee addiction may be genetic, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only reason why.