Does coffee, known as an excellent source of antioxidants, cause ulceration in the digestive tract? Coffee intake leading to formation of gastric ulcers does not sound plausible, as revealed through the following NutriNeat article.
Did You Know?
An important ingredient found in dark-roasted coffee actually helps to decrease secretion of stomach acid. Therefore, always prefer dark-roasted coffee to keep acidity at bay.
The term ‘ulcer’ refer to painful open wounds, and the ones that occur in the stomach are known as gastric ulcers. Ulcers affecting the upper portion of the small intestine are referred to as peptic ulcers. Ulcers that appear very similar to small red craters affect the lining of the gut or the stomach. Discomfort in the abdominal area, followed by bloating and appetite loss, are some of the most common symptoms of peptic and gastric ulcers. A common assumption is that drinking caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, causes ulcers in the digestive tract. The write-up given below investigates the validity of the link between coffee intake and ulceration in the stomach.
Can Drinking Coffee Cause Ulcers?
Is coffee intake responsible for the formation of ulcers in the stomach or the intestine? Certainly not! In majority of cases, infection of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) triggers ulcer development. A small percentage of cases of stomach ulcers have been attributed to smoking and regular use of NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen. However, coffee being the cause of stomach ulcers is a myth that needs to be debunked. Coffee is acidic in nature, but that does not mean it contributes to the development of ulcers. In fact, consuming any of the highly acidic foods regularly will prevent ulceration in the stomach or the intestine.
Previously, stress and diet (spicy foods, highly acidic foods, and beverages, including coffee) were thought to be the factors behind the development of ulcers. However, these claims were proved to be incorrect, as researches revealed that most cases occur from H. Pylori infection, while the rest originate from intestinal disorders and unhealthy habits (smoking).
Coffee does contain a wide range of compounds, including catechols and caffeine, that irritate the stomach as well as encourage production of stomach acid. After reviewing the ingredients in coffee, it has been observed that the beverage has acid-producing chemicals that can aggravate heartburn, but its consumption surely does not contribute in the development of ulcers.
Does Drinking Coffee Worsen Ulcers?
Most probably, drinking coffee does worsen ulcers. One can’t forget that coffee is primarily an acidic beverage; a stomach irritant. Too much coffee intake is likely to cause stomach acidity, and excess secretion of stomach acid allows it to move up and gain access to the throat area, thereby triggering a burning sensation. For some, especially those who are sensitive to caffeine, just one cup of coffee can trigger symptoms of stomach acidity. Hence, coffee intake is likely to increase the production of stomach acid, which ultimately may exacerbate pain associated with stomach ulcers. As the ulcerated area gets exposed to stomach acid, the pain aggravates substantially.
Considering the high acid levels in coffee, it is often recommended to avoid consumption of this beverage, when you are diagnosed with gastric or peptic ulcers. Apart from avoiding coffee and following a healthy diet, you need to take medications that minimize secretion of stomach acids. Drinking coffee is likely to reduce the efficacy of medications, and prolong healing. So, temporarily discontinuing intake of coffee is essential to speed up healing of ulcers.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.