If you suffer from Barrett's Esophagus or experience any gastroesophageal reflux symptoms, drinking coffee may seem like an impossible task. After all, coffee is known for its acidic nature, yet there are many health benefits of consuming coffee.
Fortunately, if you take the time to find a low-acid coffee tailored specifically to those with sensitive stomachs for conditions like Barrett's Esophagus, then you are in the best position enjoy a cup of coffee without the worries. In this blog post, I will discuss why choosing a lower-acidic coffee can make all the difference in managing symptoms associated with reflux or Barrett’s Esophagus.
- What is Barrett's Esophagus and what causes it?
- How can low-acid coffee help those with Barrett's Esophagus?
- What are the benefits of drinking low acid coffee for people with Barrett's Esophagus?
- Where can you find low acid coffee that is specifically designed for those with Barrett's Esophagus?
- "How much low acid coffee should you drink each day if you have Barrett's Esophagus?"
- Are there any side effects associated with drinking low acid coffee?"
- How can I be sure that I'm buying a low acid coffee that will help me to manage my condition?"
Let's get you on your way to enjoying drinking coffee again!
1. What is Barrett's Esophagus and what causes it?
According the Mayoclinic "Barrett's esophagus is a condition in which the flat pink lining of the swallowing tube that connects the mouth to the stomach (esophagus) becomes damaged by acid reflux..." The article goes on to explain that between the esophagus and the stomach, their is the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) a kind of value that can fail, which will cause damage and lead to a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Common GERD symptoms are heartburn or regurgitation. The result of GERD, is that cell lining the lower esophagus can be is damaged, which is a condition called Barrett's esophagus. You can read the article from the Mayoclinic here.
The National Institute for Diabetes and Kidney Diseases (NIH), estimates 20% or nearly 1 in 5 people suffer from GERD symptoms.
Barrett's esophagus is a subset of GERD and researchers estimate between 1.6% to 6.8% of people have the condition. You can see the numbers here.
2. How can low-acid coffee help those with Barrett's Esophagus?
Low acid coffee reduces the concentration of naturally occurring acidic compounds in coffee beans. Coffee by weight is over 8% acid. The composition of coffee is a mix of volatile and nonvolatile acids. The volatile acids are mostly destroyed during most conventional roasting processes. However, the more persistent and the most problematic nonvolatile acids are hardly diminished by todays roasting methods. Acids such as Chlorogenic acid and specifically Caffeoylquinic acids, which can be devastating triggers for people's GI Tract still remain in the coffee beans after roasting.
Low acid coffee is developed to reduce the presence of those problematic nonvolatile acids. But be warned, as you will see in a moment, not all low acid coffees are created equal!
3. What are the benefits of drinking low acid coffee for people with Barrett's Esophagus?
Coffee is coffee. While coffee can be devastating to peoples digestive tract because of the the inherent acidity coupled with the inability of modern most profiles to remove the acid, low acid is full of all sorts of health benefits without the acid. Here are a few health benefits:
The caffeine in a coffee can is a stimulant and can improve alertness and reduce fatigue.
Caffeine has been shown to improve mental performance such as cognitive function memory, and reaction time.
Regular coffee consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of certain chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and liver disease.
Coffee can also affect metabolism, and increase fat-burning, and weight loss. (Not sure about this one, it has not helped me much in that area).
Coffee does have a lot of antioxidants, which can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
I wrote more about What is Healthy Coffee that you may wish to consult once you finish this article.
4. Where can you find low acid coffee that is specifically designed for those with Barrett's Esophagus?"
First, you need to look for a coffee that is low in acid. Virtually all coffees roasted in the United States are highly acidic. Not because roasters are evil people, but because they are not trying to reduce acidity. Conventional roasters today roast their coffees in such a manner as to enhance the brightness, winey and fruity notes of coffee that are flavor precursors to coffee's inherent acidity. If you struggle with acid, these roasts are going in the wrong direction for anyone with Barrett's Esophagus GERD symptoms.
5. How much low acid coffee should you drink each day if you have Barrett's Esophagus?
While individual circumstances always vary, I can tell you I have talked with many people who drink coffee and have chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease and they can drink coffee now just like they used to, enjoying multiple cups per day. You can read the 3rd party verified reviews on this website. While is everyone is different, the point is it works.
6. Are there any side effects associated with drinking low acid coffee?
While I have mentioned many of the positive health impacts of drinking coffee, low acid coffee still does have caffeine, and a downside for coffee intake is that caffeine can stimulate the production of stomach acid and gastric acid secretion, which can effect the gastrointestinal tract. So coffee drinkers should be aware, if they caffeine presents a problem in that area, they should select a low acid decaffeinated coffee if their situation warrants it. The good news is the are some great water processed decafs on the market that are chemicals free and organic. You can read my article about water processed decafs for more information.
7. How can I be sure that I'm buying a low acid coffee that will help me to manage my condition?"
Now, to the point of finding the right low acid coffee. The best way to make sure the coffee you are drinking is low in acid is to know the coffee's pH score. The pH score is how the coffee acidity is measured on the pH scale. It is like taking out a ruler to measure the length of something. It's simple and objectively true. It's hard to cheat and that is why most low-acid coffee companies do not tell you the pH. Learn more about pH by reading my article Measuring Low Acid Coffee.
You May suffer if you do not know your pH.
pH is such a good measure of the acidity of coffee because it is a universal and objective measured, most roasters will never mention it and if they do, it will be measured in-house and not by an independent 3rd lab. I wonder why that is?
Know the pH of your coffee or you will be losing more than your hard-earned money, it will affect your health. Listed below is a chart I put together to give you a quick and easy visual to coffee and it's acidity. My rule of thumb is to not drink any coffee that is has a pH score lower that 5.5 pH. Remember with pH, you are seeking less acidity a move towards the neutral part of the scale, which is 7, means the coffee measures less acid content. The higher the number the better.
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In review, look for a low acid coffee that has a pH score of 5.5 or greater. Do not buy a coffee that has a pH below that number. If the roaster does not use an independent lab or publish the analytical report from the lab, I would be cautious. If caffeine, presents a problem for you, choose an, organic water processed decaf.
However, I invite you to search no more, we have what you looking for; very low acid, organic, Non-GMO, coffees with the best pH scores in the coffee industry 20 years and running. Third-party certified and verified. And because they are slow-roasted, they taste great. No bright and acidic fruity notes, just coffee that taste like coffee.
Shoot me an email below and I will send you a coupon for your first order.
Does Tea and Coffee consumption Affect GERD Symptoms?
Both coffee and tea consumption can be problematic to GERD suffers because caffeine can stimulate production of stomach acid. However, water processed decaffeinated coffees and teas that have no caffeine or are decaffeinated, can eliminate the trigger effects of caffeine. So chose wisely with caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee.
Can I Drink Coffee with Barrett's Esophagus?
Yes, suffers from Barrett's esophagus can still enjoy coffee is they chose the right low acid coffee. Slow roasted low acid coffees are designed to degrade and eliminate problematic nonvolatile acids from the coffee beans, such as Chlorogenic and Caffeoylquinic acids
Are There Trigger Foods and Beverages for GERD?
Yes, certain foods and beverages such as coffee or tea can affect GERD. While green tea may have slightly less caffeine that a black tea, green tea consumption for tea drinkers can still act as a trigger due to it's caffeine. While caffeine levels for people that drink tea might be lower than a regular cup for coffee drinkers, high tea consumption can still be a problem.