Coffee Addict? It May Be Genetic.


Wake up in the morning and brew a pot of coffee. Or rush out the door and stop at your favorite espresso stand on your way to work. If that's the way your morning starts, you're in good company. An estimated 54 percent of all American adults drink coffee every day, according to the National Coffee Association. And most prefer more than a 16-ounce grande, and chug back about three cups of coffee a day.

If you're convinced you're not the same without beginning the day with a cup of coffee, it may be more than just an acquired taste. New research published in the journal Molecular Psychiatrysuggests that genetics may be a factor that makes some people heavy coffee drinkers.

In the study, researchers looked for genetic similarities among 120,000 coffee drinkers. They found six genes specifically linked to coffee consumption among heavy drinkers that appear to be different than people who drink coffee occasionally or not at all. If you have these coffee genes, you're more likely to absorb caffeine quicker and experience greater stimulation in the brain by drinking caffeinated coffee than other people. Having the coffee genes may even change the way your body processes fats and sugars compared to other people.

But is coffee addiction bad? As it turns out, if you're drinking three cups a day or less, coffee may provide protective health benefits. In one study, Harvard researchers found that drinking two to three cups of coffee a day may help reduce depression, prostate cancer, and stroke. Other studies suggest coffee may even help prevent Parkinson's disease and certain types of cancer.

If you're a coffee addict, maybe that's not such a bad thing. Enjoy your next cup of joe along with a healthy breakfast from the breakfasts that include eggs, omelets, turkey sausage, hash browns, and other delicious meal options.