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Is a love for Third Wave Coffee genetic?

If you’re a die-hard Boston coffee lover, you may have wondered why others don’t quite feel the same. Believe it or not, it may be due in part to genetics!

A new study led by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard School of Public Health reported to have found that genetics played a part in an individual’s “need” for coffee. Ironically, these genes may not have anything to do with taste buds!

In an analysis of 120,000 individuals that regularly drank coffee from dozens of studies, scientists were able to identify 6 gene variations connected specifically to caffeine and coffee consumption. Published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, these findings could potentially explain why individual coffee drinkers respond differently to coffee.

Additionally, these findings may shed light on the expanding list of health benefits and several detrimental side effects often associated with drinking coffee.

Two of the six gene variations were recognized near Genes SLC6A4 and BDNF, which are believed to play a part in the beneficial effects of caffeine, while the others were located near genes associated with fat metabolism, blood pressure regulation, addiction, etc. As a result, coffee drinkers had an increase chance of having high cholesterol and blood sugar levels while simultaneously being less likely to have high blood sugar when compared to those that did not drink coffee.

Research associate in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health and study leader Marilyn Cornelis stated, “The genes we identified were predominantly related to caffeine and its metabolism or effects elicited by caffeine. We didn’t find gene variants related to taste.”

So the next time you pop into Thinking Cup for a delicious cup of Third Wave Coffee remember, your genes may be more responsible than your taste buds for your desire for some of the best coffee in Boston!



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