I love coffee, and I drink a cup every day. Some believe it’s not good for you, but I’ve gotten so many benefits from it that I just knew this couldn’t possibly be true. I have a philosophy about the foods I eat. If I eat or drink something that I know is bad for me, I can never get a positive result from it. I decided since nobody had very convincing evidence about coffee, and I seemed to get positive results from drinking coffee every day, I was not quitting my morning coffee until I had some more evidence. So leave it to my minion microbes called Bacteroides, who ferment coffee fibers and grow like crazy, to show me the way. Together we want to explain a thing or two to you about how coffee works in the gut and the benefits you can reap.
Microbes love the microscopic fibers in coffee
Researchers in Germany1 found that microbes love the microscopic fibers in coffee. As these microbes grow, they cover the intestinal walls and keep harmful pathogens from colonizing. They also lower the gut’s pH to an acidity that causes most germs to die. These soluble coffee fibers are food for bacteria and make the beneficial Bacteroides microbes experience up to 60% increase in growth. Soluble fibers, which are prebiotics, do so many things. They improve insulin sensitivity, allow you to absorb more calcium, convert some plant fibers into Vitamin A, and much, much more.
65 percent decreased Alzheimers risk
In his spectacular book Brain Maker, David Perlmutter, MD, talks about coffee and a study in Finland which followed 1,409 people between the ages of 65 and 79 for an average of 21 years. They found that those who drink moderate amounts of coffee have a 65 percent decreased risk of developing Alzheimers 2 as compared with low- or non-coffee drinkers. He goes on to say that researchers are finding extensive evidence of protective qualities in coffee and it all begins with the microbes in the gut and the coffee fibers they ingest. These microbes can lower the risks for Type 2 diabetes, strokes, Parkinson’s disease, and even cancer and cardiovascular disease.1 It does this by consuming the coffee fibers (soluble fibers) in the brown liquid and using this as fuel to grow and multiply and can shift the ratio of Firmicutes bacteria to Bacteroidetes bacteria. This shift is associated with a reduced risk for diabetes and obesity, as well as reducing inflammation.3
Fibers in coffee form a gel in the gut
I have found that drinking coffee makes me feel full and satisfied for hours. I never understood why this was until now. Researchers found that the (prebiotic) soluble fibers in coffee form a gel in the gut that makes you feel full and satisfied. It’s so important to have lots of fiber. You can’t digest it, but your bacteria can and it helps your good bacteria grow and flourish. Microbes in your gut, which are estimated at over 35,000 distinct species, are nothing less than superheroes. They aid in digestion, create a physical barrier against pathogens in your gut, and work like a detoxification machine by helping you eliminate toxins all day long.
So now the microbes I love so much are loving my coffee, too. Now I know why I am so drawn to it and can now enjoy it and feed my microbes as well. I am finding many ways to enjoy my coffee and this includes in my kombucha. By the way, I mostly drink decaf. I don’t need any more energy than I already have!
Fun recipes using coffee
There are a lot of ways to enjoy coffee. We have some fun recipes using coffee in kombucha and water kefir and a few other recipes, too. If you like the taste of coffee, then you will love this Coffee Kombucha. Don’t worry if you don’t drink coffee, I have alternatives for you – Faux Coffees. We could never figure out why Coffee Kombucha was so bubbly and now I know it’s the fibers in coffee that make the bacteria minions grow like crazy, producing more carbonation. Coffee and microbes are great company and will strengthen your gut in ways you possibly never imagined.
- Janet Raloff, “A Gut Feeling about Coffee,”ScienceNews, July 26,2007.
- M.H. Eskelinen et al.,”Midlife Coffee and Tea Drinking and the Risk of late -Life Dementia: A population- Based CAIDE Study,”J.Alzheimers Dis. 16,no.1 (2009): 85-91, doi:10.3233/JAD-2009-0920.
- M Jaquet et al., ” Impact of coffee Consumption on the Gut Microbiota: A Human Volunteer Stud, “J. Food Microbiol.130, no.2 (March 31, 2009) : 117-21, doi:10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2009.01.011,Epub January 23, 2009.