British Coffee Association - Gastrointestinal Function and coffee
Gastrointestinal Function

Gastrointestinal Function

Research shows coffee consumption is not associated with gastrointestinal dysfunction
Research compiled by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC) on the impact of drinking coffee on the various functions of the digestive tract suggests that coffee consumption has no significant adverse effects on the functioning of the GI tract in healthy individuals.
There is no evidence to suggest that coffee consumption causes acid reflux. In fact, it is suggested that common causes of acid reflux are the consumption of spicy or fatty food and overeating.1,2,3,4 One study found that 38% of people thought coffee was a cause of dyspepsia,5 however no association between drinking coffee and this condition have been found.6,7,8,9 Recent research suggests coffee does not lead to dehydration and contributes to daily fluid intake.10
Dr Sarah Schenker, Registered Dietitan, says: “According to the NHS, around 2 in 5 people have at least one digestive symptom at any one time, with the most common being constipation, indigestion and heartburn.11 Extensive research shows there is no indication that coffee influences disorders such as IBS, gastritis, Crohn’s Disease, colitis and ulcers, meaning those who suffer from these disorders can enjoy their coffee if they wish.”
Coffee is one of the most heavily researched products in the world today and the overwhelming weight of scientific information suggests that moderate coffee consumption of four to five cups per day (400mg of caffeine) can contribute to a healthy, balanced diet and may confer some health benefits.12,13,14 For pregnant women the NHS recommends consuming no more than 200mg of caffeine per day from all sources (an average mug of instant coffee contains approximately 100mg of caffeine).15
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1.Bolin T.D. et al. (2000) Esophagogastroduodenal Diseases and Pathophysiology, Heartburn: Community perceptions. J Gastroenterol Hepatol, 15:35-39. 
2.Kaltenbach T. et al. (2006) Review: sparse evidence supports lifestyle modifications for reducing symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Arch Intern Med, 166:965-971. 
3.Kim J. et al. (2013) Association between coffee intake and gastroesophageal reflux disease: a meta-analysis, Diseases of the Esophagus,  27(4):311-317.
4.Boekema P.J. et al. (1999b) Effect of coffee on gastroesophageal reflux in patients with reflux disease and healthy controls. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol, 11: 1271-1276. 
5.Boekema P.J. et al. (2001) Functional bowel symptoms in a general Dutch population and associations with common stimulants. Neth J Med, 59(1): 23-30. 
6.Boekema P.J. et al. (1999a) Chapter 4: Prevalence of functional bowel symptoms in a general Dutch population and associations with use of alcohol, coffee and smoking. Coffee and upper gastrointestinal motor and sensory functions, Zeist (the Netherlands). 
7.Haug T.T. et al. (1995) What Are the Real Problems for Patients with Functional Dyspepsia? Scan J Gastroenterol, 30(2):97-100. 
8.Nandurkar S. et al. (1998) Dyspepsia in the community is linked to smoking and aspirin use but not to Helicobacter pylori infection. Arch Intern Med, 158(13):1427-1433. 
9.Moayyedi P. et al. (2000) The Proportion of Upper Gastrointestinal Symptoms in the community Associated With Helicobacter pylori, Lifestyle Factors, and Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs. Am J Gastroenterol, 95(6):1448-1455.
10.Killer S. C. et al. (2014) No Evidence of Dehydration with Moderate Daily Coffee Intake: A Counterbalanced Cross-Over Study in a Free-Living Population. PLoS ONE, 9(1): e84154.
11.NHS Choices (2014). ‘How’s your gut?’. (Accessed May 2014).
12.Food Standards Agency (2004). ‘Survey of Caffeine Levels in Hot Beverages’  (Accessed April 2014).
13.Ruxton, C.H.S. (2008).  British Nutrition Foundation, 33.
14.Dorea, J.G. et al (2005). British Journal of Nutrition, 93.
15.NHS Choices (2014). ‘Foods to avoid in pregnancy’. (Accessed May 2014).