People who were earlier forced to resist the much-desired morning coffee cup due to the fear of stomach pain can now have it without another thought, claimed the study.
"This discovery is going to help a lot of people who suffer from coffee sensitivity. As coffee-lovers, we’re very excited about this research," said Dr. Veronika Somoza from the University of Vienna in Austria, and Dr. Thomas Hofmann, from the Technische Universitat Munchen in Germany, who conducted the study.
Condemning the use of stomach-friendly coffee products available in the market, the researchers claimed that the healthy properties of coffee get reduced in the process used to make coffee stomach-friendly. The process can also result in diminishing the robust taste and smell of coffee.
Health benefits of coffee consumption have also been linked to protection against diabetes and heart disease.
For the study, human stomach cells were exposed to various varieties of coffee preparations like regular, mild, decaffeinated, and stomach-friendly.
The researchers then investigated the substances like caffeine and catechols that produce chemical changes which seemed to be associated with acid production in the stomach.
Results of the study
The study found that the components that triggered molecular mechanism of acid production in the stomach cells were caffeine, catechols and N-alkanoly-5-hydroxytryptamides.
The finding revealed that there wasn’t one single irritant, but a mixture of compounds that caused the irritant property of coffee.
Moreover, one of the components, N-methylpyridium (NMP), helped in stagnating the production of hydrochloric acid by the stomach cells, which can reduce stomach irritation.
The darker roasted coffee beans contain almost twice the amount of NMP than the raw coffee beans. The level of NMP in the beans depends on the roasting method and the natural variety of the bean, revealed the researchers.
"Since NMP is generated upon roasting, dark-roast coffees contain high amounts of this stomach friendly coffee ingredient. Now, there is hope for a good morning start with a freshly brewed cup of optimized stomach friendly coffee," said the researchers.
The scientists are now conducting experiments on different varieties of coffee beans and the roasting methods in order to boost the NMP levels in the coffee produced. They have further scheduled the study on human volunteers towards the end of 2010.
The study has been presented at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.