Does Coffee Give You Heartburn? Scientists Discover Why
If you cannot imagine starting your day without having a cup of coffee, nearly 20 percent of people can. That’s because for them, coffee causes heartburn and stomach distress, and scientists say they have discovered the reason for the pain.
A team of European investigators recently presented their findings at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, where they pointed out that until now, previous research has not established the potential for certain components in coffee to irritate the stomach. Although some coffee manufacturers put their coffee beans through special processes intended to produce so-called “stomach-friendly” coffees, the success of the end results are not clear.
One thing that may occur as a result of these irritant-reducing attempts is that they also lessen the amount of beneficial substances in coffee, which numerous studies have shown to include a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes. Stomach-friendly coffees may also lack the taste and aroma appeal of less gastro-friendly brews.
It is difficult to miss the abundance of coffee houses in the United States and around the world, clear indications of how popular coffee is. The NCA’s (National Coffee Association of the USA) 2010 National Coffee Drinking Trends market-research survey shows that coffee consumption has remained unchanged as compared with 2009, indicating that coffee is recession resistant. Daily consumption in 2009 among adults 18 years and older was determined to be 56 percent, while 68 percent reported enjoying the brew within the past week. The NCA also reports that 40 percent of the coffee consumed is gourmet.
Yet an estimated 40 million Americans cannot enjoy coffee at all or only a small amount because they experience heartburn when they do drink it. The new research, conducted by Veronika Somoza, PhD, of the University of Vienna in Austria, and Thomas Hofmann, PhD, of the Technische Universitat Munchen in Germany, believe their study “could lead to a new generation of stomach-friendly brews with the rich taste and aroma of regular coffee.”