Jury Still Out on Whether Coffee Induces Reflux
WebMD News Archive
So what should heartburn patients do? According to the researchers of the
current study, they should simply enjoy regular or decaffeinated coffee if
their system can tolerate it.
Another doctor says that toleration may vary from person to person.
"Anecdotal reports from patients indicate that coffee exacerbates reflux,
although individual tolerance seems to vary," says David Nelson, MD. Nelson
is an assistant professor of family medicine and emergency medicine at the
Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. "It's probably a good idea to cut
back during flare-ups and reintroduce it slowly to learn how much is too
"We don't really know why coffee exacerbates reflux. It may be caffeine,
oils, and/or some aspect of processing. But patients seem to do better with
decaf," says Vincent Barba, MD, an internist and clinical assistant
professor of medicine at the New Jersey Medical School in Newark. "Until we
know more, [reducing coffee intake] just seems like the prudent thing to do.
Besides, it's better for health overall."
Contrary to widely held
beliefs, coffee may not induce acid reflux disease, according to a new
Previous studies have
shown that coffee does induce reflux.
Several variables could
play a role in coffee's effect on heartburn patients, including the type of