Like coffee? You may be genetically wired that way

Leslie Hanson
November 18, 2018

So the data samples were taken from genetic analyses from people with a sensitivity of bitter substances: caffeine, quinine and a chemical called propylthiouracil.

People who had genes that made them more receptive to the bitter tastes were less likely to drink bitter beverages. "The preference towards tea can be seen as a outcome of abstaining from coffee, because our genes might have made coffee a little too bitter for our palates to handle".

The reasoning is all about our genetic predisposition to bitterness - in short, whether we find some substances more bitter than others will put us in one particular hot drink camp.

Published today, our new study shows that the likelihood of a person being a coffee drinker or a tea drinker is linked with the presence or absence of key genes that shape how bitter flavours taste. People sensitive to quinine and propylthiouracil - neither of which is in coffee - tended to drink less coffee. The degree of bitterness of these depends on the genes. In a new study, researchers set out to investigate how genetics might be playing a part in people's preference and consumption of coffee, tea, or alcohol.

Sonia is a postgraduate of Mass Communication but her interest lies in writing.

In addition, those who were more sensitive to PROP drank less alcohol, whereas higher perception of the other two compounds had no clear influence.

"The findings suggest our perception of bitter tastes, informed by our genetics, contributes to the preference for coffee, tea and alcohol", Dr. Cornelis said. Not only do the high temperatures make us sweat more, they also reduce our immunity, so make sure you eat properly this season.Kirti Chadha, Head of Global Reference laboratories, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd. says, "Summer brings a majority of digestion related illnesses".


Yet, we voluntarily consume a range of bitter substances from caffeinated beverages to alcohol. This latter molecule has the same bitterness as Brussels sprouts (for those of us who can taste it).

For the study, scientists applied Mendelian randomization, a technique commonly used in disease epidemiology, to test the causal relationship between bitter taste and beverage consumption in more than 400,000 men and women in the United Kingdom.

The average cup of coffee contains 40g of caffeine compared to just 20mg in the same amount of tea, meaning those who enjoy the taste of coffee are more likely to enjoy its superior caffeine content, too. And these people were also less likely to drink tea.

But we can't blame everything on our DNA.

A coffee grinder can give you the professionally brewed taste you love without breaking your bank - and you don't even need to leave your kitchen.

"Our tastes change over time and you can learn to like certain drinks and foods, even if your genes tell you that you hate it". Read the original article.

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