Does Your DNA Determine Your Coffee Consumption
Essay Topic: Does Your DNA Determine
Your Coffee Consumption
College students drink a lot of coffee. Coffee is known to effect different people differently. Research has shown there are now eight DNA loci that account for one’s desire to drink coffee. In your essay you should discuss these loci, but you must go beyond just mentioning them. You must indicate what they are responsible for. For additional resources, look for articles from the Harvard School of Public Health, as well as Brigham Women’s Hospital. Make sure you integrate your views, comments and questions on the topic throughout the essay.
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Does Your DNA Determine Your Coffee Consumption
There are some individuals who can barely start their day without a cup of coffee. It is now evident that there exist some genes which are responsible for a person taking lots of coffee compared to their counterparts thanks to studies by researchers. That a person by investigators who examined the populace of individuals living in villages located in Italy, the scientists focused on the genome association of the population by examining makers found in DNA then thereafter identifying the PDSS2 gene which is suspected of having a starring role in the metabolism of caffeine (Sifferlin, 2016). During the research, the scientists interviewed over one thousand two hundred individuals in Italy regarding the quantity of coffee that they consumed. After that, the researchers compared the consumption of the people with genetic results achieved from a sample of one thousand seven hundred and thirty-one others from Netherlands. The results indicated that individuals who had manifestations of active PDSS2 genes testified to consuming less coffee (Pirastu et al., 2016). The researchers believe that the PDSS2 gene controls protein production which is responsible for metabolizing caffeine within a person’s body. The scientists postulated that individuals having higher PDSS2 gene metabolize caffeine at a slower rate thereby consuming fewer amounts of coffee (Sifferlin, 2016). This paper expounds on the concept of how the genetic makeup of an individual affect their coffee consumption and which particular DNA loci affect coffee drinking and in which manner.
The genes that code for individual characteristics is usually found in specific locations also known as “loci” found in the chromosomes of human beings. Loci are composed of many inherited alleles. Nicola Pirastu, who is the author of the study reveals that people with minimal PDSS2 gene need to consume less coffee in order to have positive caffeine effects (Pirastu et al., 2016). Pirastu goes on to reveal that to some extent take may protect some individuals from a number of diseases while it could predispose others to diseases. It is, therefore, important to comprehend the motivation behind drinking coffee and how best individuals make their food choices is essential to their health (Sifferlin, 2016). Nevertheless, there are still other studies that have associated genes with the tendency of drinking either a smaller amount or excessive coffee. According to the TIME reports, a study conducted in October 2014 analyzing the genetic composition of over one hundred and twenty thousand coffee drinkers revealed six genetic makers which are associated with the responsiveness of a person to caffeine (O’connor, 2016). There have been numerous associations of coffee to various health benefits such as healthier arteries, decreasing the threat of type two diabetes and the possibility of longer life. Furthermore, Pirastu states that there exists one body pathway that metabolizes caffeine as well as particular medications. He insists that identifying the gene’s genotype may go a long way in explaining why individuals respond in a different way to different medications (Pirastu et al., 2016). Pirastu provides useful insights on the PDSS2 gene and how coffee consumption affects the lifestyle of people.
A recent study by The Coffee and Caffeine Genetics Consortium highlighted just how much the genetic makeup of people affect coffee consumption and most importantly the reason why coffee has different effects on people. Findings from the Molecular Psychiatry portal ratified what had been suspected for long that the genetic makeup of people influences their coffee drinking manners (Cornelis, Esko, Ganna, Paynter, and Ngwa, 2015). Researchers have now narrowed down to six novel gene variations which are more prevalent in those people who frequently consume many quantities of the celebrated caffeinated beverage. The research comes just after the discovery of two previously recognized genetic variants which code for particular biological traits. There are therefore eight loci which have been recognized as having an important inclination to consumption of coffee. The study which was conducted among over one hundred and twenty thousand people who were identified as regular consumers provided researchers with sufficient data for them to make sound conclusions (Cornelis et al., 2015). When analyzing the genetic makeup of the subjects through DNA sequencing as well as comparing the results to self-confessed coffee consuming figures, the researchers managed to conclude why some individuals require a high amount of coffee compared to others for optimum caffeine effect. The research also looked into how DNA could influence particular types of habitual manners.
The research led to the discovery of POR and ABCG2 DNA loci which were identified as having the ability to act indirectly through altering caffeine metabolism. The discovery of the two loci was a significant step towards identifying how the genetic makeup of individuals affects how they consume coffee. The study also led to the discovery of loci BDNF and SLC6A4 which were believed to have the effect of rewarding as well as reinforcing caffeine properties (Cornelis et al., 2015). Loci BDNF and SLC6A4 were also found to have an association with predicting how often a person drinks coffee. The other two loci were the GCKR and MLXIPL loci which were back then not associated with the behavior of the consumers, but they were common among perpetual coffee consumers. The discovery came to the disbelief of the researchers who hoped to find the effect of the two loci. Nevertheless, loci GCKR and MLXIPL take part in the metabolism of glucose and lipids (Bichler, Cavin, Simic, Chakraborty, Ferk, Hoelzl and Knasmüller, 2007). The outcomes are significant to all coffee consumers as well as other researchers as the beverage is prevalent among many nations and has gained admiration among many. However, the use of coffee has led to constant health concerns among scientists. The research goes ahead to state that the latest version of the diagnostic manual of mental disorders puts intoxication of caffeine and its withdrawal as significant disorders. The revelation shows just how much the data could be used in other health care research initiatives to improve people’s healthcare. The conclusions could be useful when there arises a need to identify and categorize subgroups of individuals who are more likely to be assisted from either increasing or decreasing the consumption of coffee so as to attain optimal health.
Parkinson disease (PD) forms one of those diseases which is has a high susceptibility to various loci. The disease also holds a putative threat and protective environmental aspects have already been recognized which may interact with the disease (Ahmed, Lill, Nielsen, Artaud, Gallagher and Biernacka, 2014). Among the environmental factors that affect the disease is a rich epidemiological proof that the consumption of coffee is inversely related to Parkinson disease. Caffeine is postulated to be responsible for the existing association due to the fact that it is an adenosine A2A-receptor competitor. Furthermore, the family has been proved as being neuroprotective as well as attenuate injury of the dopaminergic neurons more so in animal paradigms of Parkinson disease (Ahmed et al., 2014). Parkinson disease has an etiology which involves genetic susceptibility as well as environmental exposures. Surprisingly, consumption of coffee has been found to be inversely related to PD even though the underlying mechanisms to the intriguing relation are still not yet known. A recent study into the wide genome-environment interaction reveals that the inverse PD and coffee association is in fact twice stronger within careers of the famous T allele in the SNP rs4998386 located in the GRIN2A gene compared to the homozygotes for C allele.
Researchers tried to repeat the experiment in the same sized pool through conducting an investigation among 2,289 cases using 2,809 controls. According to Ahmed (2014) to ensure accuracy in the result four separate studies have been carried out in the France, Denmark and Seattle and Rochester in the US (Ahmed et al., 2014). The four separate studies were conducted independently using detailed rs4998386 genotypes. The subsequent research failed to establish similar results for the first study. The study made use of various descriptions of coffee consumption as well as statistical modeling methods. Conspicuously, while in the first survey there existed a relation between SNP rs4998386 and the coffee drinking within controls and not amongst the cases, not even one of the analyzed datasets pointed to a relationship between SNP rs4998386 and consumption of coffee among the controls (Ahmed et al., 2014). The subsequent years bear a high possibility of an accumulating amount of papers investigating the relationship in gene-interaction more so at the anticipated genome-wide stage. However, the genome-wide phase is expected to pose substantial genome-wide stage challenges. Nevertheless, the findings from the second study emphasize the need for conducting another careful evaluation regarding the outcomes of the research. Nevertheless, it is worth noting the effect that caffeine could be having to people more so regarding Parkinson disease which is a severe ailment. The research is, therefore, critical in ensuring that the beverage does not affect the consumers.
The recent recognitions concerning the relationship between the quantity of coffee consumption that an individual takes and the few genes are a significant step. The many types of research have led to more people indulging in the area of research to find out the other genes that influence the coffee drinking habits. The PDSS2 gene has been extensively studied, and the discovery that individuals possessing the gene tend to take fewer cups compared to their counterparts with the gene is probably a break rough in discovering many other specific genes which affect coffee consumption. The study by Pirastu shows the effect of the PDSS2 gene on individuals who were used as a sample in Italian villages. Researchers who evaluated the research indicate that the PDSS2 gene reduces the capability of an individual’s cells breaking down caffeine thereby causing the beverage to stay inside a person’s body for prolonged durations. The situation means that an individual would require consuming huge amounts of coffee in order to achieve similar caffeine hit as their counterparts who lack the PDSS2 gene. Furthermore, the researchers suggest that individuals possessing the gene rarely find themselves as being coffee addicts’ compared to their counterparts who lack the gene. The findings by Pirastu shed more light on the coffee research as well as to past researches that have found genes associated with coffee habits (Pirastu et al., 2016). The research also enlightens readers on biological mechanisms responsible for the metabolism of caffeine.
Researchers have been researching on the underlying genetics behind the consumption of coffee since the 1960s. The realization that consumption of coffee could be hereditary was first noted in 1962. Coffee has for long been recognized as being among the most common beverages globally. Researchers state that coffee comes second to the most common water and tea. It, therefore, comes as little surprise that the beverage has some genomic link with the human body. However, the fact regarding the beverage with the human DNA has not been fully exploited as there have only been few studies conducted on the drink with regard to its relation with the human DNA. The genes identified as playing a part in breaking down caffeine are also responsible for metabolizing particular medicines. Nevertheless, the fact that drinking huge coffee amounts has been linked with various health benefits points at the substantial research that has been conducted on the beverage. Recent research points to improved short-term memory as being one of the renowned benefits of perpetual coffee consumption (Kendler and Prescott, 1999). However, huge consumption of the drink has been associated with developing various forms of sclerosis, liver cancer as well as melanoma disease. On the other hand, heavy coffee consumption may be healthy for the heart of any person. The primary purpose of unraveling the genes responsible for coffee consumption is to assist researchers to comprehend why some of their patients respond in different manners to drugs compared to others. Furthermore, the research could help physicians personalize their form of treatments.
Ahmed, I., Lee, P. C., Lill, C. M., Nielsen, S. S., Artaud, F., Gallagher, L. G., … & Biernacka, J. M. (2014). Lack of replication of the GRIN2A-by-coffee interaction in Parkinson disease. PLoS Genet, 10(11), e1004788
Bichler, J., Cavin, C., Simic, T., Chakraborty, A., Ferk, F., Hoelzl, C., … & Knasmüller, S. (2007). Coffee consumption protects human lymphocytes against oxidative and 3-amino-1-methyl-5H-pyrido [4, 3-b] indole acetate (Trp-P-2) induced DNA-damage: results of an experimental study with human volunteers. Food and chemical toxicology, 45(8), 1428-1436
Cornelis, M. C., Byrne, E. M., Esko, T., Nalls, M. A., Ganna, A., Paynter, N., … & Ngwa, J. S. (2015). Genome-wide meta-analysis identifies six novel loci associated with habitual coffee consumption. Molecular psychiatry, 20(5), 647-656
Kendler, K. S., & Prescott, C. A. (1999). Caffeine intake, tolerance, and withdrawal in women: a population-based twin study. American Journal of Psychiatry, 156(2), 223-228.
O’connor , A., The New York Times. For Coffee Drinkers, the Buzz May Be in Your Genes. JULY 12, 2016 8:59 AM. https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/07/12/for-coffee-drinkers-the-buzz-may-be-in-your-genes/
Pirastu, N., Kooyman, M., Robino, A., van der Spek, A., Navarini, L., Amin, N., … & Gasparini, P. (2016). Non-additive genome-wide association scan reveals a new gene associated with habitual coffee consumption. Scientific reports, 6. Sifferlin A., Blame Your Genes For Your Coffee Addiction. Aug 25, 2016. http://time.com/4464843/genetics-coffee-consumption-caffeine/