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Greetings. Eric Bakker. Thanks for coming back. We’re going to talk about coffee and gut health. A question I get asked regularly from subscribers is, “Eric, how does coffee affect my gut? Is it bad? Should I keep away from it? Is it junk?” “I really enjoy coffee,” some people say. Coffee has many effects on your digestive system just like it has many effects on your overall health. Coffee can agitate some people. In other people it can actually calm them down. It’s true. Some people actually feel relaxed when they drink coffee. Many people have a cup of coffee to concentrate more if they’re writing or doing particular work. Like anything in life, if it’s really good it’s either illegal, bad, fattening, something like that. That’s what a lot of people think, there’s a hook. There’s something there that is going to cause pain. There’s a problem. Coffee for many people is a ritual, it’s a daily ritual. They really enjoy it. My wife, for example, really enjoys coffee. She’s got a nice espresso machine so I make her one really nice coffee in the morning. I enjoy a nice cup of coffee in the morning as well. I have one cup per day, sometimes two cups. Now, coffee is perfectly fine with me because my digestive system is perfectly fine. I don’t need coffee to go to the bathroom.
Some people actually drink coffee to aid them to go to the bathroom, because coffee does stimulate digestion. Coffee has acids in it that for some people can really play up on their gut. This is where you need to be careful. If you’ve got reflux or if you’ve got inflammatory bowel disease, if you’ve got some kind of digestive problem and you notice that coffee really plays up on you, you should avoid coffee until your gut is good. When I was in my 20s I couldn’t tolerate coffee at all. When I had bad Candida problem, coffee made me sick. It created heartburn. I got all sorts of bowel problems with it so I couldn’t touch coffee. Now my gut is in great shape, I can really enjoy coffee. You know what, studies have shown for and against, like anything else. There was a study conducted in 2009 involving 16 healthy adults where they took fecal samples of these people, extensive fecal samples using quite very intense laboratory methods to have a look at what type of populations of bacteria they had, the beneficial, the imbalanced, et cetera.Then they put these people on three cups of coffee a day for a period of 14 days and then they did the fecal analysis again. They found that the bifidobacteria were increased on the people who drank the coffee, versus the people who don’t generally drink coffee.
That’s quite interesting. They also found the activity of these beneficial bacteria was improved in fact. Studies have also shown that coffee does contain certain types of antioxidants just like dark chocolate does. On the flip side, coffee can cause havoc with people with adrenal fatigue or serious thyroid problem. It can really hike people up. My mum was very hyperthyroid. She was really high anxiety person. Now, she would be drinking on average 10 to 12 cups of coffee per day. A lot of Dutch people, people from my heritage drink ridiculous amounts of coffee. My grandad drank up to 15 to 20 cups per day. That’s not unusual for an old Dutch guy, that’s what they did. He proudly showed me a whole jar full of kidney stones when I was a teenager which shocked the heck out of me. I realized later on that the kidney stones likely came from ridiculous amounts of coffee and no water consumption.
Back then people believed that if you drank anything, well, it was like water, back in the 20s or 30s. Now we know that water is different from coffee. A good tip for you, if you like coffee is to make sure that you do drink plenty of water during the day. Don’t think that coffee and tea are substitutes for water because they’re not. Coffee is also dehydrating for many people. It can make you urinate a lot more and more frequently. Just to recap. If you’ve got a gut problem, especially upper GI like stomach, reflux, heartburn or if you’ve got quite a bad problem with your pancreas, if you get blood sugar disorders, for example, if you’ve got inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome, or a known gut problem you’re probably best to avoid coffee until you improve that gut problem. This is the same advice I give to people for kefir especially in sauerkraut. ..
Thanks for tuning in.