There’s more good news for the guts of coffee drinkers. A new study finds that moderate daily coffee consumption may have many positive benefits to the gastrointestinal tract.
As reported by News-Medical.net, the study was recently published in the journal Nature and was untaken by researchers at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM). For their work, researchers examined 194 papers relating to coffee consumption and gut health, where they found that moderate coffee consumption, defined here as 3-5 cups a day (still no word on what actually constitutes a cup), “was not found to generate harmful effects on the various organs of the digestive tract.”
And more than just not finding any negatives, researchers found three areas where coffee may potential have positive effects on the GI tract. For one, coffee was linked with “gastric, biliary, and pancreatic secretions,” which all help the body digest food. Coffee consumption was also associated with positive changes in the gut biome, specifically in the presence of Bifidobacterium, a “ubiquitous inhabitant of the gastrointestinal tract” that is one of the main bacteria found probiotic drinks.
Lastly, coffee was linked with improved gut motility, “the process by which food travels through the digestive tract.” The research found that coffee was on a par with cereal in terms of stimulating motility, 60% more effective than water and 23% more effective than its decaf counterpart. The research also found a connection between regular coffee consumption and decreased risks of gallstones, liver disease, and pancreatitis as well as no evidence to support the theory that coffee has any direct effect on gastroesophageal reflux.
Astrid Nehlig, Ph.D., Emeritus Research Director at INSERM, states:
Contrary to some assumptions, coffee consumption is not overall linked to bowel or digestive problems. In some instances, coffee has a protective effect against common digestive complaints such as constipation… Although additional data will be needed to understand coffee’s effects throughout the digestive tract, this is an extremely encouraging place to begin.
So when it comes to your guts, coffee is good, no if’s, and’s or but’s.