A fan of black coffee and dark chocolate? It's in your genes, a new study says

An insight into the habit of consuming black coffee and bitter chocolate

Prefer your coffee black? Then you probably like dark, bitter chocolate, according to new research identifying a genetic basis for those preferences.

If that's you, then congratulations -- you are the lucky genetic winner of a trait that may offer you a boost toward good health, according to caffeine researcher Marilyn Cornelis, an associate professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

"I tell people my cup of tea is coffee research," Cornelis said. "It's a hot topic." Because studies find moderate amounts of black coffee -- between 3 and 5 cups daily -- has been shown to lower the risk of certain diseases, including Parkinson's, heart diseases, Type 2 diabetes and several types of cancer.Your morning cups of coffee and tea could be associated with a lower risk of stroke and dementiaBut those benefits are likely to be more pronounced if the coffee is free of all of the milk, sugars and other fattening flavourings we tend to add.


"We know there's growing evidence suggesting there's a beneficial impact of coffee consumption on health. But reading between the lines, anyone advising someone to consume coffee would typically advise them to consume black coffee due to the difference between consuming black coffee and coffee with milk and sugar," Cornelis said.
"One is naturally calorie-free. The second can add possibly hundreds of calories to your coffee, and the health benefits could be quite different," she added.

A gene for coffee
In prior research, Cornelis and her team discovered that a genetic variant may contribute to why some people enjoy numerous cups of coffee a day, while others do not.
"People with the gene metabolize caffeine faster, so the stimulating effects wear off faster, and they need to drink more coffee," she said.
"This could explain why some individuals seem to be fine consuming a lot more coffee relative to someone else who might get jitters or become very anxious," she added.


Dark chocolate's benefits: A heart-healthy option in moderation
In a new study published in Nature Scientific Reports, Cornelis analyzed more precise types of coffee drinkers, separating black coffee lovers from cream and sugar (or more) lovers.
"We found coffee drinkers with the genetic variant that reflects a faster metabolism of caffeine prefers bitter, black coffee," Cornelis said. "We also found the same genetic variant in people who prefer plain tea over-sweetened, and bitter, dark chocolate over the more mellow milk chocolate."
Bitter foods and that mental boost
But here's a twist. Cornelis and her team don't think the preference has anything to do with the taste of plain black coffee or tea. Instead, she said, people with this gene prefer black coffee and tea because they associate the bitter flavour with the boost in mental alertness they crave from caffeine.

"Our interpretation is these people equate caffeine's natural bitterness with a psycho-stimulation effect," Cornelis said. "They learn to associate bitterness with caffeine and the boost they feel. We are seeing a learned effect."
The same applies to the preference of dark over milk chocolate, she added.

"When they think of caffeine, they think of a bitter taste, so they also enjoy dark chocolate," Cornelis said. "It's possible these people are just very sensitive to the effects of caffeine and they also have that learned behaviour with other bitter foods."
Dark chocolate contains some caffeine, but much more of a compound called theobromine, a known caffeine-related stimulant of the nervous system. But more is not better when it comes to theobromine, studies find -- higher doses can increase heart rate and ruin mood.


Dark chocolate is also full of calories, so keeping consumption down is good for the waistline. Still, studies find that even a small bite of dark chocolate a day can contribute to heart health and reduce the risk of diabetes.

That's probably because cocoa contains plenty of flavanols -- epicatechin and catechin -- antioxidant compounds that are known to improve blood flow. Other foods that contain flavanols include green, oolong and black teas; red wine; kale; onions; berries; citrus fruits and soybeans. Future studies will try to tackle the genetic preference for other bitter foods, Cornelis said, "which are generally linked to more health benefits."
"It might show that individuals who are genetically predisposed to consume more coffee are also engaged in other potentially healthy behaviours," she said.

Story Courtesy : https://edition.cnn.com/2021/12/29/health/black-coffee-chocolate-tea-gene-wellness/index.html

Tags : #BlackCoffee #DarkChocholate #BitterChocolate #Caffeine

About the Author


Team Medicircle

Related Stories

Loading Please wait...
-Advertisements-


Trending Now

PM addresses the Nation today, announces free vaccinesJune 07, 2021
Why inhalers are best for treating asthma, well illustrated by Dr. Anil SingalMay 12, 2021
Dr. Rohan Palshetkar shares his invaluable insights about the Maternal Mortality Rate causes and improvements in India April 29, 2021
It is important to adopt a non-judgmental attitude towards any teenage girl seeking contraceptive advise suggests Dr. Teena Trivedi, Obstetrician and GynecologistApril 16, 2021
80% of the diseases are psychosomatic which means they have roots in the mind and this is where homeopathy steps in - It resolves physical ailments by finding the cause in the mind – Dr. Sanket Dhuri, Consultant Homeopath April 14, 2021
A futuristic Vision of a Healthcare Entrepreneur: Shyatto Raha, CEO, and Founder of MyHealthcareApril 12, 2021
Saher Mehdi, Founder and Chief Scientist at wellOwise talks about aspects making healthcare more equitable and reachableApril 10, 2021
Wide variety of therapies to address autism in children explained by Dr. Shilpa Jasubhai, Clinical PsychologistApril 09, 2021
Allopathic and Homeopathic medicines should not be taken together says Dr. Sunil Mehra, Homeopath ConsultantApril 08, 2021
The charm of homeopathic medicine is that it can be taken with conventional medicines – Dr. Shruthi Shridhar, Consulting Homeopath April 08, 2021
Dissociative Identity Disorder and associated concepts explained by Dr. Vinod Kumar, Psychiatrist and Head of Mpower - The Centre (Bangalore) April 07, 2021
Dissociative Identity Disorder explained by Dr. Shilpa Jasubhai, Clinical PsychologistApril 05, 2021
Sehat Ki Baat, Karishma Ke Saath- Episode 6 Healthy Diet For Boosting Metabolism Which Can Help Thyroid Patients April 03, 2021
Significant Pointers on Kidney Health by Dr. Santosh Waigankar, Consultant Urooncologist and Robotic Surgeon at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani HospitalApril 01, 2021
Dr. Vaishal Kenia, Ophthalmologist Talks About the Different Possibilities Available for the Treatment of Glaucoma Depending Upon Their Type and SeverityMarch 30, 2021
No Definitive Role of Diet in Treatment of Lymphedema but Intake of Calories, Salt and Long Chain Fatty Acids should be controlled says Dr. Ramani CVMarch 30, 2021
Dr. Kiran Chandra Patro, Senior Nephrologist Talks About Dialysis as the Temporary Process and Not a Permanent Cure for the Patients of Renal DysfunctionMarch 30, 2021
Two out of three new chronic kidney disease patients are found to have diabetes or hypertension informs Dr. Sreeharsha HarinathaMarch 30, 2021
Glaucoma Treatment: Medications or Surgery? A valuable piece of advice from Dr. Pranay Kapdia, Chairman and Medical Director of Kapadia Eye CareMarch 25, 2021
Dr. Shraddha Satav, Consultant Ophthalmologist Recommends that Everybody After 40, Should Go for the Complete Eye Checkup at Regular IntervalMarch 25, 2021