We have all heard the humorous anecdotes of how coffee makes you move …. inside and out. Yet researchers at the University of Texas, Galveston, are studying rats to understand why this seems to be true. Interestingly, from the data presented yesterday at Digestive Disease Week® (DDW) Conference 2019, study investigators suggest that the effects of coffee on our intestines seem to have little to do with caffeine.
The results of the study, presented yesterday at the conference as part of a presentation titled "In Vivo and In Vitro Effects of Coffee on the Gut Microbiota and Smooth Muscle Contractility in the Rat", have showed that the coffee diet by rats and its mixture with intestinal bacteria in dishes, suppressed microbes and increased muscle motility, regardless of caffeine content.
"When the rats were treated with coffee for three days, the contraction capacity of the small bowel muscles seemed to increase," said the study's principal investigator, Xuan-Zheng. Shi, PhD, an associate professor of internal medicine at the medical branch of the University of Texas. Galveston. "Interestingly, these effects are independent of caffeine, since coffee without caffeine had effects similar to those of regular coffee."
Coffee has long been known to increase bowel movements, but researchers have not clarified the reason or the mechanism. In this study, scientists examined changes in bacteria when faeces were exposed to coffee in a petri dish, and studying the composition of faeces after ingestion by the rat of different coffee concentrations over three days. This study also documented changes in the smooth muscles of the intestine and colon, as well as the response of these muscles when they are exposed directly to the coffee.
Remarkably, the research team found that the growth of bacteria and other microbes present in the feces of a petri dish was suppressed with a 1.5% coffee solution and that growth microbes was even weaker with a 3% coffee solution. Decaffeinated coffee had a similar effect on the microbiome.
In addition, after the rats had been fed coffee for three days, the total number of bacteria in their feces had decreased, but researchers indicated that further research was needed to determine whether these changes favored firmicutes, considered "good" bacteria, or enterobacteria, considered as such. negative.
The inferior bowel and colon muscles of rats showed increased ability to contract after a period of coffee ingestion and coffee stimulated contractions of the small intestine and colon when tissues muscles were exposed to coffee directly in the laboratory.
The results confirm the need for additional clinical research to determine whether coffee consumption could be an effective treatment for postoperative constipation, or ileus, in which the intestines stop functioning after abdominal surgery, noted the authors.