Coffee and Gut Health
Centuries of consumption have revealed coffee’s stimulating effects, and recent research has shown it may also have powerful beneficial effects on gut health. Studies have found that drinking coffee can reduce the risk of developing Crohn’s disease, colorectal cancer, and irritable bowel syndrome,
In fact, studies show that greater coffee consumption reduces risk of colon cancer . Coffee is also associated with a reduction in inflammation and an increase in the good bacteria in the gut, which can help to improve digestive health . Coffee is a rich source of antioxidants, which can help to protect cells from damage and reduce inflammation. The caffeinated beverage also contains compounds such as chlorogenic acid and cafestol, which can help to improve gut health. Chlorogenic acid is known to reduce inflammation in the gut, while cafestol has been found to increase the production of beneficial bacteria in the gut .
Caffeine and Gut Health
Researchers have found that the caffeine in coffee can reduce inflammation and improve the health of the gut lining, which we think of when we think of coffee for its caffeine content. Caffeine has also been found to increase the production of beneficial bacteria in the gut, which can improve digestion and reduce the risk of disease [4,5]. Lastly, coffee also contains other compounds that can help to improve gut health. Coffee is a rich source of fiber, which can improve digestion and reduce the risk of developing certain gastrointestinal diseases . The beverage also contains other beneficial compounds such as phenolic acids, which can help to reduce inflammation and protect cells from damage.
Negative Effects from Excessive Caffeine Consumption
Researchers have looked at potential negative effects on gut health from too much caffeine consumption, including coffee, on those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD)/heartburn, and leaky gut. However, no randomized clinical trials have yet assessed coffee’s role in either causing or exacerbating IBS.
Rather, it has been observed that anything high in caffeine may increase diarrhea in people with IBS, which is why many people with IBS feel better lowering caffeine consumption . A small randomized clinical trial of 30 people who were identified to be sensitive to coffee and also have symptoms of GERD (heartburn or acid reflux) or dyspepsia (upper abdominal burning) found that drinking coffee caused heartburn, regurgitation, and dyspepsia in most participants . A literature review from 2010 suggested that green coffee (coffee made from unroasted coffee beans, which is not what most of us normally buy) may contribute to leaky gut more than dark-roasted coffee. Green coffee has a higher concentration of compounds which are highly prone to glycation (the binding of sugars to proteins or lipids) which can induce inflammation and may exacerbate leaky gut .
In conclusion, drinking coffee can have powerful beneficial effects on gut health. Notably, coffee is a rich source of antioxidants and other compounds that can help to reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and protect cells from damage. Moreover, the caffeine in coffee can also help to reduce inflammation and increase the production of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Therefore, drinking coffee can be beneficial for gut health. However, it is important to note that it is best to consume caffeinated drinks that are lower in sugar and don’t exceed 400 milligrams of caffeine in one serving. Excessive sugar and caffeine intake can negate the benefits of coffee discussed above.
-  Tian, C., Wang, W., Hong, Z., & Zhang, X. (2013). Coffee consumption and risk of colorectal cancer: a dose–response analysis of observational studies. Cancer Causes & Control, 24, 1265 – 1268.
-  Preda, M., Popa, M.I., Mihai, M.M., Oţelea, T.C., & Holban, A.M. (2019). Effects of Coffee on Intestinal Microbiota, Immunity, and Disease. Caffeinated and Cocoa Based Beverages.
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-  https://pop.gi.org/media/press-info-scientific-meeting/featured-science/p1916-caffeine-consumption-and-the-colonic-mucosa-associated-gut-microbiota/
-  Capili, B., Anastasi, J. K., & Chang, M. (2016). Addressing the Role of Food in Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptom Management. The journal for nurse practitioners : JNP, 12(5), 324–329. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nurpra.2015.12.007
-  DiBaise J. K. (2003). A randomized, double-blind comparison of two different coffee-roasting processes on development of heartburn and dyspepsia in coffee-sensitive individuals. Digestive diseases and sciences, 48(4), 652–656. https://doi.org/10.1023/a:1022860019852
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