Why your morning cup of coffee sends you running to the bathroom

empty coffee cup after drink foam white cup old wooden table
Credit: Freepik

Coffee makes you poop. That’s a fact, right? It must be, since you can buy t-shirts or mugs with that saying, and mugs never lie. But is it actually the coffee that’s prompting our poops, or is it something else?

It was previously thought that caffeine was the poop provoking ingredient in coffee. However, this theory is easily tested. A 1998 study gave 12 volunteers coffee, decaf coffee, water or a 1000 calorie meal and measured their colonic function in response… They found that coffee stimulated colon activity just as much as a 1000 calorie meal and that while the effect is lessened with decaffeinated coffee, it’s not gone.

If caffeine alone cannot explain coffee’s laxative effects, what can? Possibly, coffee’s interaction with stomach acid.

Related article:  Alkaline diet fraud: Dieters trying to alter their pH to lose weight are following a ‘completely nonsensical concept’

Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee stimulate the production of a hormone called gastrin… To sum up all these various effects, we can say that gastrin promotes digestion. Therefore, if coffee stimulates gastrin and gastrin stimulates digestion, this pathway may be a mechanism by which coffee makes us defecate.

There could be another effect at play here though: the gastrocolic reflex. This reflex is triggered by the stomach stretching when you eat or drink something and causes the colon to increase its motility… This reflex is especially active in the mornings, which could explain why a 9 a.m. cup of coffee sends you running to the bathroom but not a 3 p.m. one. 

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
ft covidresponseus feature

Video: Viewpoint: The US wrote the global playbook on the coronavirus and then ignored it

A year ago, the United States was regarded as the country best prepared for a pandemic. Our government had spent ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend