Effect of different coffees on esophageal acid contact time and symptoms in coffee-sensitive subjects

Physiol Behav. 1995 Mar;57(3):563-7. doi: 10.1016/0031-9384(94)00363-a.


The purpose of this study was to correlate the effects of different coffees on esophageal acid contact, heartburn, and regurgitation in patients with coffee-sensitivity. Twenty volunteers with coffee-sensitivity were studied in a double-blind, 3 period, crossover study examining the effect of three regular (caffeinated) coffees (a coffee from the USA--"A"; a "treated" coffee from Europe--"B"; and an "untreated" coffee from Europe--"C") before and after a high-fat test meal. The median acid contact times for coffees A, B, and C were 6.5%, 9%, and 10.5%, respectively (A vs. C, p = 0.005). Significantly fewer patients reported any symptoms with coffee A compared with coffee C (p < 0.05). Symptoms were usually more frequent and severe after the test meal. There was a trend toward fewer and less severe symptoms with the treated coffee (B) compared with its untreated counterpart (C). Our conclusions are as follows: (a) Different coffees induce variations in gastroesophageal reflux in coffee-sensitive individuals. (b) Coffee can be treated in a manner which decreases heartburn symptoms by 75% while decreasing acid contact by only 14%. (c) Gastroesophageal reflux and symptoms of coffee sensitivity increase with the concomitant ingestion of food. (d) Symptoms of dyspepsia appear to be influenced by variations in both the coffee itself and characteristics of susceptible individuals. (e) Although gastroesophageal reflux is important in the genesis of coffee-sensitivity, there must be other factors which act in concert with reflux to produce symptoms of coffee-sensitivity.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Caffeine / pharmacology
  • Coffee / adverse effects*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Food
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / chemically induced*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / physiopathology
  • Heartburn / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors


  • Coffee
  • Caffeine