The objective of the present research was to review the state of the art on the consequences of drinking coffee at the different levels of the gastrointestinal tract. At some steps of the digestive process, the effects of coffee consumption seem rather clear. This is the case for the stimulation of gastric acid secretion, the stimulation of biliary and pancreatic secretion, the reduction of gallstone risk, the stimulation of colic motility, and changes in the composition of gut microbiota. Other aspects are still controversial, such as the possibility for coffee to affect gastro-esophageal reflux, peptic ulcers, and intestinal inflammatory diseases. This review also includes a brief summary on the lack of association between coffee consumption and cancer of the different digestive organs, and points to the powerful protective effect of coffee against the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. This review reports the available evidence on different topics and identifies the areas that would most benefit from additional studies.
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