The impairment of gastroduodenal mucosal barrier by coffee

Acta Medica (Hradec Kralove). 2004;47(4):273-5.


Background: Even though coffee is not considered to be responsible for development of peptic ulcer, it may, however, prolong its healing by increasing acidity of gastric content. In our former work we observed a profound increase in sucrose permeability (above normal values) in healthy volunteers regularly drinking coffee for years. In literature, many factors affecting sucrose permeability have been described so far. None of them, however, studied the effect of coffee.

Subjects, materials and methods: 10 young asymptomatic habitual coffee drinkers were included in the study. The probands underwent SaLM test twice--first time without coffee restriction and second time after 48-hour coffee abstinence. The ingested SaLM solution comprised sucrose (25.0 g), lactulose (10.0 g), mannitol (2.0 g), xylose (2.0 g) and water (up to 100 ml). Urine was collected for five hours and the samples were analysed using gas chromatography. Results were compared with those of 8 young healthy volunteers not drinking coffee. Permeability for sucrose was significantly higher in the group of habitual coffee drinkers in comparison with non-coffee drinkers (p < 0.01). After 48-hour coffee abstinence sucrose excretion decreased significantly (p < 0.05) to a level not differing from that of non-coffee drinkers (p = 0.54).

Conclusions: Our results indicate that coffee may damage gastroduodenal mucosa in habitual coffee drinkers. In a time period of 48 hours the gastroduodenal mucosa is capable of a significant regeneration.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Coffee / adverse effects*
  • Duodenum / cytology
  • Duodenum / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gastric Mucosa / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / physiology*
  • Male
  • Permeability
  • Sucrose / urine


  • Coffee
  • Sucrose