Researchers have a lot to say about the health benefits (and risks) of drinking coffee and in what quantity. Want to slug down 25 cups a day? Some experts say go right ahead.
Coffee has also been linked to lower risk of premature death, easing inflammation and aiding with common skin problems.
Now, new research suggests a couple cups of Joe can also aid with gut health. The research, which looked at the correlation between caffeine consumption and the "structure of the colonic-gut microbiota," concluded that higher caffeine intake was associated with better overall gut health.
The researchers looked at 34 participants, who underwent a colonoscopy and endoscopy to determine the health of their colons. The participants were then asked to self-report their daily coffee intake.
The data showed that the “high intake” participants (those who consumed more than two cups of coffee per day) had healthier microbiome levels than those who consumed less or no coffee.
Gut microbiome can affect your overall health, by either helping to fend off diseases or making you more susceptible. Researchers say that gut microbiome could be the missing link between diet and chronic diseases.
"Higher caffeine consumption was associated with increased richness and evenness of the mucosa-associated gut microbiota, and higher relative abundance of anti-inflammatory bacteria,” the authors wrote.
Researcher Li Jiao, with the Baylor College, said more work remains to be done in order to fully determine how bacteria interacts with the body and affects overall health.
But for now, Jiao advises that coffee lovers go ahead and follow their gut.
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