A question that seems to come up again and again in research, we have reported on it a number of times (Coffee: good or bad?, Coffee break could help the memories to stay, Two cups a day to keep cirrhosis at bay, Wake up and gargle the coffee ) which is not so surprising as I always have my trusty cup of the black stuff while writing these blogs.
Now research carried out by The Coffee and Caffeine Genetics Consortium and published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry has found 8 genetic loci (or positions of a gene or DNA sequence), 6 of which have not been published before that relate to coffee drinkers. Six of these regions appear to play a role in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics (basically how your body absorbs and reacts to drugs, in this case caffeine) but two of them map to genes that are involved in metabolic traits but not previously associated with coffee.
So what does this mean? Our bodies do not all react the same way to caffeine or the other components of coffee, which helps to explain the confounding reports we hear about it. With research like this, the researchers can group people based on their genetic makeup to see if this makes the picture any clearer.
If you can scroll past all the names and addresses (116!) the paper is available from the Molecular Psychiatry website.