A review of 194 previous studies shows that moderate coffee consumption has beneficial effects on several organs and digestionDon't store avocado like this: it's dangerous
Coffee is said to be useful for digestion, but is this really the case? A new scientific review highlights the effects of this drink on the stomach and intestines but, we specify immediately, it was sponsored by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (Isic), an important European association of coffee producers.
The scientific review, published in Nutrients, was based on 194 studies that appeared in peer reviewed journals which were analyzed by highlighting the effects of coffee on the organs involved in digestion. The results show that this drink has a stimulating effect on some digestive processes and a possible protective effect against common ailments such as gallstones and some liver diseases.
Research in practice suggests that moderate consumption of coffee (defined by EFSA as 3-5 cups a day) not only does not produce harmful effects on the various organs of the digestive tract but, in particular in two cases, it can be beneficial (against the risk of gallstones and pancreatitis, although they are more research needed).
On its journey through the gastrointestinal tract, coffee has three main beneficial impacts, according to the meta-analysis:
- The coffee stimulates the production of the digestive hormone gastrin and hydrochloric acid, present in gastric juice (both help break down food in the stomach). The beloved drink also stimulates the secretion of cholecystokinin (CCK), a hormone that increases the production of bile, also involved in digestion.
- Coffee appears to be associated with changes in the composition of the intestinal microbiota, mainly at the level of the bifidobacteria population.
- Coffee is associated with colon motility. The data reviewed suggests it can stimulate it as much as grains, 23% more than decaf coffee or 60% more than a glass of water, and may be linked to a reduced risk of chronic constipation.
The research also supports a possible protective effect of coffee against liver disease, including hepatocellular carcinoma, one of the most common types of cancer that affects this organ.
The analyzed data however did not support the theory that coffee also has a direct effect on gastroesophageal reflux.
As we specified at the beginning, however, the study was sponsored by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (Isic), which also includes producers such as Nestlé and Lavazza. A review therefore not entirely independent.
It must be said, however, that there have been many studies that over the last few years have highlighted various benefits of moderate coffee consumption, so we should not doubt too much about the results of this meta-analysis, which in any case requires further scientific research.
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