Effects of Coffee on the Gastro-Intestinal Tract: A Narrative Review and Literature Update
The objective of the present research was to review the state of the art on the consequences
of drinking coffee at the different levels of the gastrointestinal tract. At some steps of the digestive
process, the effects of coffee consumption seem rather clear. This is the case for the stimulation of
gastric acid secretion, the stimulation of biliary and pancreatic secretion, the reduction of gallstone
risk, the stimulation of colic motility, and changes in the composition of gut microbiota. Other aspects
are still controversial, such as the possibility for coffee to affect gastro-esophageal reflux, peptic
ulcers, and intestinal inflammatory diseases. This review also includes a brief summary on the
lack of association between coffee consumption and cancer of the different digestive organs, and
points to the powerful protective effect of coffee against the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. This
review reports the available evidence on different topics and identifies the areas that would most
benefit from additional studies.
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