The study find that the coffee indeed helps in bowel movements and also improves the gut microbe population. The study is  present at the Digestive Disease Week ; (DDW) 2019 by the researchers. Notable finding of this study is the effects of coffee on gut bacteria as well as on bowel movements are not associate with caffeine content of the beverage. Xuan-Zheng Shi; lead author of the study and associate professor in internal medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, explained that the team fed rats coffee and test the effects on the gut bacteria in petri dishes.

The effects of coffee

They  said, “When rats are treat with coffee for three days, the ability of the muscles in the small intestine to contract appear to increase. They  add; “Interestingly, these effects are caffeine-independent, because caffeine-free coffee had similar effects as regular coffee.” At the presentation, Dr. Shi present the data for the abstract number Su1625 yesterday (19th May 2019). The study was titled; “Effects of coffee on gut microbiota and smooth muscle contractility in rats.”

Mechanism behind these effects of coffee on the gut is know earlier but not explain at the molecular level. They noted that after feeding the rats with coffee for three consecutive days there are changes in the smooth muscles of the intestines and colon of the rats. These were directly expose to the coffee.

The small intestine

Results of the study reveal that growth of bacteria in the fecal matter of the rat guts are stopp by using a solution of 1.5 percent coffee. When a 3% solution of coffee is use; the microbe concentration was even lower. Same effect is see when decaffeinate coffee is use on the gut microbes, the researchers note.

The team looked at the type of bacteria that coffee reduce in the rat faeces. While the need is to reduce harmful bacteria like Enterobacteria; healthy gut microbes needed to be augmented. The team also witness that after a period of coffee ingestion the gut muscles of the small intestine and colon started contracting. They exposed the tissues in the petri dish to coffee directly and found that coffee could stimulate the muscles.

Reduce harmful bacteria

Researchers suggest that further research with human volunteers to see if coffee could help patients who have paralytic ileus after an abdominal surgery. Paralytic ileus is a condition where there is sluggish movement of the gut muscles after an abdominal surgery that leads to constipation.

Greek researchers also looked at the effects of caffeine on post operative paralytic ileus. Their study is publish in January this year in the journal Digestive Surgery. The team looked at studies that have been publish looking at the effects of coffee on paralytic ileus. They find four studies suitable for their analysis where a total of 341 patients are include.