Drinking coffee keeps the bowels moving because it changes gut bacteria and improves ability of intestines to contract, find researchers.
Researchers, feeding rats coffee and also mixing it with gut bacteria in petri dishes, found that coffee suppressed bacteria and increased muscle motility, regardless of caffeine content.
"When rats were treated with coffee for three days, the ability of the muscles in the small intestine to contract appeared to increase," said Xuan-Zheng Shi, associate professor in internal medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston.
Interestingly, these effects are caffeine-independent, because caffeine-free coffee had similar effects as regular coffee, Shi informed during the Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2019 here on Sunday.
Coffee has long been known to increase bowel movement, but researchers have not pinpointed the specific reason or mechanism.