8 Genetic Mutations That Can Give You 'Superpowers'

Flickr/Bureau of Land Management Oregon

BDNF and SLC6A4 and the super coffee-drinker variants.

There are at least six genes associated with how your body processes caffeine.

Some variants, near the genes BDNF and SLC6A4, influence the rewarding effects of caffeine that make you want to drink more. Others are linked to how the body metabolizes caffeine — those who break caffeine down more quickly may be more likely to drink more of it because the effects wear off faster.

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Others still help explain why some people are able to fall asleep at night after their daily morning coffee while others have to cut out the habit altogether to get a good night's sleep.

ALDH2*2: The super-flusher variant.

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Do your cheeks go rosy shortly after having a single glass of wine? A mutation on the ALDH2 gene may be the culprit.

One such mutation interferes with the ability of a liver enzyme called ALDH2 to convert the alcohol byproduct acetaldehyde into acetate. When acetaldehyde builds up in the blood, it opens up the capillaries, causing what we see as a flush or glow.

But there's another dangerous component of acetaldehyde — it's a carcinogen in people, and research suggests that people who flush when they drink alcohol may have the mutation and may also be at a greater risk of esophageal cancer.

 

Read the original article on Business Insider. Copyright 2017.

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