Coffee psyche and interactions between genetics and the environment

Why does coffee psyche change in people and some have the feeling that they cannot survive the day without their favorite drink? However, others are only satisfied with one cup, while some even abstain. New research suggests that intensive coffee consumption is influenced by a positive feedback loop between genetics and the environment.

Coffee psyche and behavioral genetics

used coffee capsules in different colors

This phenomenon is known as a specific heritability. It is also linked to cholesterol and body weight and is believed to play a role in other physiological behavioral traits in humans that are beyond simple explanation.

“It seems that environmental factors are the basis for your genes to work,” said Paul Williams. He is a statistician at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “Your environment can make you drink more coffee, like your colleagues or spouse do. The genes you have to like coffee then have a bigger impact. These two effects are synergistic. “

happy couple with shopping bags and coffee cups

Williams' results come from an analysis of 4,788 married couples and 2,380 siblings. This study examines how lifestyle and genetics affect cardiovascular disease. Participants, all of whom are related to an original group, provide detailed information on diet, exercise, medication use, and medical history every three to five years. Data from the study has been used in thousands of studies on many facets of human health.

Study results

DNA is changing different genomes

The analysis showed that between 36% and 58% of coffee consumption is genetically determined. The exact causative genes remain unknown. So Williams' hypothesis is based on the fact that drinking coffee is a specific characteristic of genetics. The correlation of a parent's coffee psyche and that of a child drinking coffee is becoming stronger for the consumption of beverages. For example, the amount changes from zero cups a day to one to five or even more cups consumed.

“When we started decoding the human genome, we thought we could read the DNA. So we could understand how genes behave and lead to diseases and the like. But that's not how it works, ”said Williams. “For many traits, such as drinking coffee, we know that they have a strong genetic component. We have known coffee psyche in families since the 1960s. But when we actually start looking at the DNA itself, we usually find a very small connection. The percentage of trait variation can be attributed to genes alone. “

The traditional assumption in genetic research has been that the environment and lifestyle change gene expression in a consistent and measurable manner and ultimately produce the external manifestation of a trait. Statistical work in Williams' study shows that the situation is more complex. This explains the variety of features that we see in the real world.

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