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Yes, Coffee Might Cause Heartburn!!!

Are you wondering whether there is any relation between coffee and heartburn? Well, according to a study conducted by the researchers from the University of Vienna (Austria) and the University of Germany, coffee does cause heartburn. Coffee is one of the most favorite drinks in the USA. As per a survey conducted by the National Coffee Association of the USA, in 2009, the coffee consumption among adults was 56% last year. Even in the times of recession the consumption rate did not go down, making coffee recession-proof. However, around 20% of Americans (about 40 million) cannot enjoy their cup of coffee as it gives them stomach distress and heartburn.

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How does coffee cause heartburn?
The study was conducted by Veronika Somoza from the University of Vienna and Thomas Hofmann from the University of Germany. They studied the effect of various types of coffee- mild,regular, decaffeinated, dark-roast- on the human stomach cells. They observed that the substances present in coffee like catechols, caffeine and N-alkanoly-5-hydroxytryptamides are believed to trigger the chemical changes, leading to an increased acid production in the stomach. For the first time such a discovery was made on the coffee components. Hofmann and Somoza observed that the combination of coffee components causes irritation in the stomach. A single element is not responsible for the heartburn.

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How will the study help?
Another interesting observation was made in the study. It was found that another coffee component known as N-methylpyridium or NMP is beneficial for the stomach. It reduces the irritating effect of the coffee by preventing the stomach cells from producing hydrochloric acid. This acid causes heartburn and discomfort. As NMP is found in roasted coffee beans and not in the raw coffee beans, it would be a good idea to consume darker- roasted coffee like French roast and espresso. The researches feel that this finding “could lead to a new generation of stomach-friendly brews with the rich taste and aroma of regular coffee.” Currently, they are experimenting with different varieties of coffee beans and their roasting methods to come up with stomach-friendly coffee. If they are successful then millions of Americans will say good morning with their daily cup of coffee without the agony of a heartburn.

The flip side of stomach-friendly coffee
Sadly, in the bid to make the coffee stomach-friendly, we might lessen the other beneficial components present in coffee. These aspects of coffee decrease the risk of diseases like:

  • Stroke
  • Heart diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Alzheimer’s disease

The gastro-friendly brews might also lack the aroma and the taste of the regular coffee.

SOURCES:
National Coffee Association
American Chemical Society

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