Most habitual coffee drinkers have glossed over countless coffee studies. One year it’s good for you, another time, it’s incredibly bad. One study concludes that caffeine is bad for your heart, while another links the antioxidants to longevity and increased health. Well, here’s some good news about coffee!
According to the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM, in French), drinking coffee every day may benefit your gastrointestinal tract. As they published in the journal Nature, consuming 3 to 5 cups of coffee every day (which the researchers called “moderate” consumption) did not “generate harmful effects on the various organs of the digestive tract”.
What’s more, the researchers at INSERM also found that coffee may have positive effects on your GI tract. After carefully examining 194 scientific papers on coffee consumption, INSERM discovered that drinking coffee was linked to positive changes in the gut biome. Specifically, the studies frequently discovered the beneficial bacteria Bifidobacterium in healthy amounts. This bacteria lives in your gastrointestinal tract anyway and is the chief bacteria in many an expensive probiotic drink.
Coffee was also linked to “gastric, biliary and pancreatic secretions” - all of which help your body to digest food. It was also linked to an improvement in gut motility or the speed at which you digest your food. Coffee’s gut motility effects were pretty much the same as cereal’s - 60% more effective than water. Standard coffee was 23% more speedy than decaf, too.
As if this isn’t enough reason to drink a cup of joe in the morning, INSERM also found that drinking coffee regularly decreased the risk of gallstones, pancreatitis, and liver disease. Coffee also had no direct effect on gastroesophageal reflux.
INSERM also said that additional research is needed to truly understand the effect coffee has on the digestive tract. However, it looks like the bitter beverage is surprisingly good for you!