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Only some coffee causes acid

23rd March 2010

Only some types of coffee contain substances that irritate people's stomachs, according to a recent Austrian study.


The researchers claim to have pinpointed which substances irritate the gut, and say their research will allow more people to enjoy the health benefits of coffee.

Researcher Veronika Somoza of the University of Vienna said that there was no single, key irritant that gave people coffee sensitivity.

She said that, instead, a mixture of various substances caused heartburn and stomach acid.

Caffeine, catechols, and N-alkanoly-5-hydroxtryptamines were among the culprit compounds found in coffee.

The research explains why millions of people claim they cannot drink as much coffee as they would like.

Somoza said that previous studies had not verified the stomach irritating potential of coffee or its components, and that 'stomach friendly' brands relied on processing raw coffee beans with steam or solvents that reduced the healthfulness of the drink.

Coffee has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

For the study, the scientists used cultures of human cells to examine the effect of different types of coffee.

They said that dark-roasted coffees were actually easier on the stomach than other brews, and that espresso and French roast both contained substances such as N-methylpyridium (NMP) that reduced the production of stomach acid.

Significant amounts of NMP were only found in dark roasted coffee, however, because it was produced during the roasting process.

Somoza said that people who cannot drink coffee in the morning would soon be able to opt for a stomach friendly coffee with a high NMP content.

Her research team is currently focusing on what makes NMP production possible, in order to find an optimal way of roasting the beans, and hopes to begin testing its brews later this year.


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Article Information

Title: Only some coffee causes acid
Author: Luisetta Mudie
Article Id: 14478
Date Added: 23rd Mar 2010


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