Recently, a study was conducted to explore millennial reaction to three bitter substances - caffeine, quinine and propylthiouracil (PROP), for understanding how do they affect people's preferences for drinking tea, coffee or alcohol.
So are you a tea lover or a coffee lover? The answer lies in your genetic predisposition towards bitter tastes, according to some researchers. They could be right as bitterness acts like a natural warning system to protect us from harmful substances.
A study performed by Northwestern University, USA and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Australia came together and explored millennial reaction to three bitter substances- caffeine, quinine and propylthiouracil (PROP), for understanding how do they affect people's preferences for drinking tea, coffee or alcohol.
Their findings proved that people who have higher ability to taste bitterness of the coffee and have a habit of drinking too much coffee consume low amounts of tea and also learn to associate good things with caffeine.
Marilyn Cornelis, assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said in an interview that “You’d expect that people who are particularly sensitive to the bitter taste of caffeine would drink less coffee. The opposite results of our study suggest coffee consumers acquire a taste or an ability to detect caffeine due to the learned positive reinforcement (stimulation) elicited by caffeine.”
This study got published in the journal Scientific Reports and also found out that people who were sensitive to bitter flavours avoided coffee. For alcohol on the other hand, people with higher sensitivity to bitterness of PROP resulted as lower alcohol consumers, particularly for red wine.
“The findings suggest our perception of bitter tastes, informed by our genetics, contributes to the preference for coffee, tea and alcohol,” Cornelis also mentioned.
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