The review, supported by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC), found that coffee stimulates several digestive processes and may have a protective effect against digestive problems. common diseases such as gallstones as well as some liver diseases.
A review of 194 research publications found that moderate coffee consumption (as defined by the EFSA as 3-5 cups per day) produced no harmful effects on various organs of the gastrointestinal tract. .
Two areas of particular interest from research are the link between coffee and a reduced risk of gallstones and the evidence linking coffee drinking with a reduced risk of pancreatitis, although more research is still needed.
In its journey through the digestive tract, coffee has three main effects:
- Coffee is involved in gastric, bile and pancreatic secretions, all of which are necessary for the digestion of food. Coffee was found to stimulate the production of the digestive hormone gastrin; and hydrochloric acid, found in gastric juice – both help break down food in the stomach. Coffee also stimulates the secretion of cholecystokinin (CCK), a hormone that increases bile production, which is also involved in the digestive process.
- Coffee appears to be associated with changes in the composition of the gut microbiome. In the studies reviewed, coffee consumption was found to induce changes in the composition of the gut microbiome, mainly at the population level of Bifidobacteria, a common resident of the gastrointestinal tract. chemical.
- Coffee is linked to colon motility – the process by which food moves through the digestive tract. The data reviewed show that coffee can stimulate bowel movements as much as cereals, 23% more than decaffeinated coffee or 60% more than a glass of water, and it may reduce the risk of chronic constipation.
The latest research also strongly supports coffee’s protective effect against liver diseases, including hepatocellular carcinoma – one of the most common types of liver cancer.
Although there is evidence that coffee consumption can aid in the early stages of digestion, most data do not support the finding that coffee has a direct effect on gastroesophageal reflux. . Rather, it is the combined or cumulative effect of other risk factors such as obesity and a poor diet.
The new review, titled ‘Effects of coffee on the gastrointestinal tract: a narrative review and updated literature’ was conducted by Dr Astrid Nehlig, Director of Research Emeritus at the Institute of Health Research. and French National Health (INSERM).
Nehlig commented: “Contrary to some assumptions, coffee consumption is not generally associated with bowel or digestive problems. In some cases, coffee has a protective effect against problems. Emerging data also indicate that there may be an association with improving levels of groups of gut bacteria such as Bifidobacteria that have been recognized to have beneficial effects. More data is needed to understand the effects of coffee on the gastrointestinal tract, but it is an extremely encouraging place to start.”