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2012-10-29

Coffee Speeds Recovery from Bowel Surgery

Recently, I enjoyed Uranus.
New research on coffee showed that people who drank coffee (rather than water) after bowel surgery expedited their return to bowel movements and tolerance of solid food.

“Post-operative bowel obstruction is a common problem after abdominal surgery and the aim of this study was to test our theory that coffee would help to alleviate this” explained the study's lead author.

However, it is not yet clear how coffee functions in this aspect (caffeine appears to have been ruled-out in previous studies that also found the beneficial effects using decaffeinated coffee).

In this study, the patients were randomised to be given coffee or water (100 ml three times daily) after bowel surgery.

In the coffee group time to first bowel movement after surgery was just over 60 hours, whilst it was 74 hours in the water group. The coffee group were able to tolerate solid food much sooner – in just over 49 hours compared to around 56 hours in the water group. Coffee drinkers were also able to pass wind after around 41 hours after surgery, compared with over 46 hours for the water group.

Source: Randomized clinical trial on the effect of coffee on postoperative ileus following elective colectomy

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