Driven to Espresso: Drive-through Coffee Stands in the Northwest

If you think coffee culture is cool, you have come to the right place. I have loads of information and opinions to share about espresso in the Pacific Northwest, especially the drive-through phenomenon.

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Possible genetic reason for coffee addiction

Anyone can become addicted to coffee (caffeine, really). As you probably already know, caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world*. This popularity is largely influenced by the fact that it's legal, I assume.

As reported by Jordan Press in the Vancouver Sun, researchers from Harvard University, Brigham and Women's Hospital, the US National Health Institute, and the University of North Carolina, have identified two genes—CYP1A2 and AHR if you must know—that may cause some people to be more addicted than others.

Dr. Marilyn Cornelis, a Canadian researcher at Harvard said that having the genes may mean a person metabolizes the caffeine from coffee faster. The coffee buzz wears off faster for them, so they need to consume more coffee to feed their addiction.

I had more or less assumed that some people just liked coffee more, but now I see that they may not be able to help it. What about people who don't like coffee (shudder to think!)? They just don't have the genetic makeup, I suppose.

Like so many other things in modern life, we just don't have the choices we thought we had, and no one's behavior is truly controllable. Yeah.

*I have found this statement repeated on very many websites, but have not found any substantial proof of that fact. I welcome any comment to satisfy my curiosity.

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