This popular beverage may boost your gut health

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A recent study from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, researchers found caffeine consumption is linked to the healthy gut microbiome.

They found the microbiomes of regular coffee drinkers were healthier than those who consumed little to no coffee.

The finding was presented at the American College of Gastroenterology annual meeting.

Previous studies have shown associations between coffee consumption and lowered health risks of all sorts—from type 2 diabetes to certain cancers to Parkinson’s disease.

Some evidence suggests that the makeup of your gut microbiome can affect health, either by promoting or reducing the risk of diseases.

In this study, the team took gut microbiome samples directly from various parts of the colon during colonoscopies.

Overall, the 34 participants who drank two or more cups of coffee daily throughout the previous year exhibited better gut microbiome profiles than those who consumed less or no coffee.

Heavy coffee drinkers’ bacterial species were more abundant and more evenly distributed throughout the large intestine, richer in anti-inflammatory properties, and considerably less likely to include Erysipelatoclostridium, a type of bacteria linked to metabolic abnormalities and obesity.

It remains uncertain why coffee exerts such a positive influence on the gut microbiome.

It is possible that caffeine or other nutrients in coffee may impact the metabolism of bacteria and, in turn, how the bacterial metabolites—the end products of that metabolism—affect your body.

While scientists may not completely understand the mechanisms behind coffee’s impact on the microbiome, they are becoming increasingly convinced of the importance of gut contents to overall health.

But the team also warns that coffee isn’t for everyone. It can aggravate a sensitive stomach, worsen insomnia, or pose a danger to individuals with certain heart conditions.

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