The Truth About Coffee And Your Poop

Researchers have found coffee stimulates muscle movement in your intestines.
Jessica Miley

Coffee lovers are always quick to point out the benefits a cup of Joe has on their digestive system, but now scientists have dug deeper into why. A new study has explored the effects of coffee on the gut and the results are very interesting. It seems that drinking coffee helps your intestines contract better but also suppresses bacteria.


What surprised the researchers from the University of Texas the most was that the increased motility occurred no matter the caffeine level. When rats were treated with coffee for three days, the ability of the muscles in the small intestine to contract appeared to increase," said Xuan-Zheng Shi, PhD, lead author of the study and associate professor in internal medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston. "Interestingly, these effects are caffeine-independent, because caffeine-free coffee had similar effects as regular coffee."

Decaffeinated Still Has a Strong Effect

To complete the study scientists exposed feces to coffee in a Petri dish, as well as observed the changes in rats digestion and feces after being fed coffee for three days. They found that the production of bacteria was significantly decreased when the feces was exposed to both caffeinated and uncaffinated coffee.

However without further research, the scientists couldn't say whether the bacteria that was suppressed was firmicutes, know as "good" bacteria, or enterobacteria, which are regarded as negative. After being fed coffee for three days the intestines of the rats showed a significant increase in the ability to contract.

Is Coffee Good or Bad?

Intestines also showed signs of stimulation when they were directly exposed to coffee. The research will form the basis for further investigation into whether coffee can be a viable treatment for ileus, or post-operative constipation, in which the intestines quit working after abdominal surgery.

Most Popular

The debate about whether drinking coffee is good or bad for you never seems to find a final answer. While the rat poop study seems to lean on the direction of coffee lovers the next round of research should be more definitive.until then there is good news for fans of the popular drink.

A new analysis from a team in Sweden states that people who report moderate to heavy coffee drinking have a 25 to 29 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those who don't drink it at all. The global study was conducted by two researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

The findings reflected a comprehensive look at 30 major studies comparing coffee and diabetes. In total, the data included over 1.18 million participants.

“The inverse association between coffee consumption and type 2 diabetes was shown in both men and women,” said Dr. Carlstrom a professor of physiology and pharmacology in Sweden. Active ingredients in coffee such as caffeine, hydroxycinnamic acids notably chlorogenic acid, trigonelline, diterpenes eg cafestol and kahweol, and caffeic acid can all have benefits to drinkers.

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