Friday , May 14 2021

Tea or coffee? The answer may be genetic



A coffee traveler sips the coffee as he passes through the cold records on his way to work in Washington in the photograph. Joshua Roberts, Reuters

A new study has examined how genetic factors determine taste, scientists now believe they know why some people prefer coffee while others prefer tea.

An article published this week in the journal Nature Research Reports found that genetically predisposed people love more bitter flavors and generally choose coffee because of the higher content of caffeine and tart.

But, it is important for tea drinkers everywhere, it does not make them right.

As humans developed, we developed the ability to discover bitterness as a natural warning system to protect the body from harmful substances.

Evolutionally, we should want to spit this American straight down the sink.

But the participants in the trial who were genetically more sensitive to the bitter taste of caffeine were more likely to prefer coffee to tea, and more likely to drink more.

"You would expect people who are particularly sensitive to the bitter taste of caffeine to have less coffee," said Marilyn Cornelius, a professor of preventive medicine at the University of Feinberg School of Medicine in the Northwest.

"The opposite results of our study suggest that consumers of coffee can acquire taste or ability to recognize caffeine because of the positive reinforcement of caffeine."

So people genetically engineered in advance as bitter coffee learn to associate "good things with it," Cornelius said.

In a study of more than 400,000 men and women in the UK, researchers also found that people sensitive to bitter taste of quinine and taste associated with vegetable compounds were more likely to escape coffee in favor of a sweeter counterpart, tea.

Liang-Dar Hwang of the University of Queensland, the Institute of Diamantics, who co-authored the study, told AFP that the fact that some people prefer coffee has shown how everyday experiences can override genetic tendencies when it comes to taste.

"The perception of bitter taste is shaped not only by genetics but also by environmental factors," he said.

"Although humans naturally do not like bitterness, we can learn to love or enjoy eating bitter food after being exposed to environmental factors."

Although coffee lovers are actually a challenge to evolution, there is another advantage to liking your latte.

According to Hwang, coffee drinkers were less genetically sensitive to bitterness than tea drinkers, making them "less hateful to other tasty foods" like green vegetables.


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