Researchers have identified a gene that appears to curb coffee consumption.
People with a DNA variation in a gene called PDSS2 tend to drink fewer cups of coffee, a study has found.
Experts claim the findings suggest the gene reduces the ability of cells to break down caffeine, which causes it to stay in the body for longer and means those affected get the same caffeine hit through less coffee.
One scientist working on the project said it suggests the “drive to drink coffee may be embedded in our genes”. The researchers studied the DNA of 370 people living in a small village in southern Italy and 843 people from six villages in north-east Italy.
Dr Nicola Pirastu, a chancellor’s fellow at Edinburgh University, said: “The results of our study add to existing research suggesting that our drive to drink coffee may be embedded in our genes.
“We need to do larger studies to confirm the discovery and also to clarify the biological link between PDSS2 and coffee consumption.”