There has been a lot of spotlight on coffee lately, some suggesting that 2-3 cups a day can help people live longer. Studies suggest those who drink coffee are 12-18% less likely to die from cancer, stroke, diabetes, heart, kidney and respiratory disease than non-drinkers. Research shows it can also help with dementia, eliminate free radicals that damage cells and help with erectile dysfunction. But it seems you can find just as much bad as you can good when researching the topic. Dr. Margarita Murphy breaks down some of the facts on coffee consumption related to gut health.
The key to remember is MODERATION. When drank moderately the good effects for a healthy adult is beneficial. If you already suffer with stomach issues, or are working on figuring out a solution to G.I. symptoms coffee may not be your friend, and here is why:
1- Drinking coffee on an empty stomach stimulates hydrochloric acid production. If your body has to make HCl more often in response to regular cups of coffee, it may have difficulty producing enough to deal with a large meal, more specifically protein digestion. Undigested protein is associated in a variety of health problems, from bloating and gas to IBS, diverticulitis and even colon cancer.
2- Many of the compounds in coffee like caffeine and the various acids found in coffee beans can irritate your stomach and the lining of your small intestine. It’s known to be a problem for those suffering from ulcers, gastritis, IBS and Crohn’s disease and doctors generally advise patients with these conditions to avoid coffee completely.
3- Acid reflux and heartburn can be caused by coffee due to the way it relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter.
4- Drinking coffee can stimulate peristalsis, the process in the digestive tract that makes us head for the bathroom. By stimulating peristalsis, coffee also appears to promote increased gastric emptying, whereby the stomach’s contents are quickly passed into the small intestines, often before the digesting food has been properly broken down. Making it much more difficult for nutrients to be absorbed from your food. It also increases the chances of irritation and inflammation within the gastrointestinal tract.
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In The News: The popularity of mushroom coffee seems to be growing. Offering the same energy effects of regular coffee but with gentler PH balancing effects helping your gut to find normalcy within it’s good bacteria levels. Who knows what will be on the next edge of gut health science?!
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