If you’re a regular drinker, you know that a cup of coffee is usually followed by a trip to the bathroom soon after. While the daily drink is still a divisive issue when it comes to our health, new research indicates that this fun side effect means coffee is actually good for digestion – and more!
For many of us, coffee is an essential part of our morning routines – and it may also be what keeps us on a regular digestive schedule. According to a new scientific review published in Nutrients, coffee facilitates digestion and has a positive effect on some of its processes. And good news for java lovers: research has shown that drinking three to five cups of coffee a day has no harmful effects on our digestive organs!
The researchers looked at 194 publications to find similarities in the benefits of drinking coffee. One constant was the fact that coffee seemed to help with gastric, bile and pancreatic secretions. All of these are vital for the digestion of food and coffee seems to boost their production. In particular, coffee helped boost the amount of gastrin (a digestive hormone) and hydrochloric acid (found in gastric juice) – two key factors in helping our stomach digest food.
If you’re someone who always has to go to number two after a cup of coffee, you’re not alone. The review found that coffee is associated with colon motility, making it just as effective as cereal in helping you go to the bathroom. This treat could lead to a reduced risk of chronic constipation, according to the researchers.
Is coffee good for your gut?
While all of this may make sense to us, as we can physically feel the effects of coffee on our bodies, the fact remains that the daily brew is quite acidic. I think that means it’s probably bad for our gut – the system that runs from our esophagus to our colon – but it turns out that might not be the case!
According to the study, coffee was indeed found to induce changes in our gut microbiota. Specifically, it positively impacted levels of bifidobacteria, a probiotic that’s considered “good” bacteria. This means that drinking coffee could actually help keep the gut healthy.
Overall, conductor Astrid Nehlig, PhD, director of research emeritus at the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), found that coffee isn’t as bad for our system. digestive than you might think. In fact, it is useful for some.
“In some cases, coffee has a protective effect against common digestive disorders such as constipation,” she commented, according to Eureka Alert. “While more data is needed to understand the effects of coffee throughout the digestive tract, this is an extremely encouraging starting point.”
So, if you have digestive issues, coffee might just be the remedy you need!