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Coffee - Is It Bad For Your Digestive Health?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Atul Sharma 93% (175 ratings)
MD - Medicine, DM - Gastroenterology
Gastroenterologist, Gurgaon  •  12 years experience
Coffee - Is It Bad For Your Digestive Health?

Almost everyone knows about the tremendous benefits that coffee has to offer. Be it energizing one's self or protecting the brain from various degenerative diseases, a cup of coffee can be a solution for all. But did you know that the caffeine present in coffee can do more damage to your health than good? Yes, coffee can be beneficial only when consumed in small amounts. Overdrinking it or developing an addiction to coffee can take a toll on your gut.

Keep on reading to find out how.

  1. Coffee Increases Stomach AcidityThose who drink coffee regularly in the morning, on an empty stomach must know that more than it can energize them for the day ahead, regular cups of morning coffee actually slowly raise serious gut problems, stomach acidity being one of them. Along with various plant-based compounds present in coffee, caffeine stimulates the cells of the stomach to secrete more hydrochloric acid, which makes the stomach an ideal dwelling place for the pylori bacteria, responsible for an ulcer.
  2. Coffee May Cause Acid RefluxThe esophageal sphincter muscles between the food pipe and the stomach are responsible for allowing food into the stomach and ensuring that it stays there. However, drinking too much coffee causes the esophageal sphincter muscles to relax which leads to stomach acid building up in the food pipe. This causes severe irritation, pain or a burning sensation in the chest, known as acid reflux. If acid reflux occurs frequently, it may lead to further complications, such as ulcers, sores, etc.
  3. Makes the Food Rot in the Gut: Various research studies have shown that coffee speeds up the release of contents from the stomach even before they are digested completely. Food that is not properly digested usually ends up sitting in the gut and rotting there. This rotting food, creates a toxic environment inside the intestines which becomes ideal for the spread of bad bacteria, which causes inflammation, and damages the walls of the intestine.
  4. Disrupts the Absorption of Minerals: Coffee can also irritate your prostate gland and bladder, it sometimes even disrupts the absorption of minerals like magnesium, which affects the digestive system of the body, slowing it down. Magnesium being the most crucial mineral for regulating healthy and normal bowel movement, one can very well imagine how badly the digestion process will be affected if the absorption of magnesium gets hampered. Plus, by moving the bowels even before water and other essential nutrients are absorbed, coffee may cause malnourishment and dehydration.

So next time you boast about your habit of drinking coffee whenever possible, think twice. No matter how healthy something is, having too much of it can cause damage to health and so does excessive consumption of coffee.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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