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Ingredient of dark roasted coffees may make them easier on the tummy

Roasting produces compound that appears to reduce acid production

SAN FRANCISCO – Roasting coffee beans doesn’t just impart bold, rich flavor. It also creates a compound that helps dial down production of stomach acid, according to research presented on March 21 at the spring meeting of the American Chemical Society. The discovery may explain why dark roasted brews are gentler on the stomach than their lighter peers, and could lead to a new generation of tummy-friendly coffees.

Even though several studies have found a cup-a-day habit imparts health benefits such as decreased risk of obesity, Alzheimer’s and colon cancer, many coffee lovers drink decaf or forgo the beverage altogether because it irritates the stomach or spurs heartburn. Previous work suggested that coffee made from steam-treated beans tamps down this gastric distress, a finding attributed to lower levels of caffeine and other compounds in these brews.

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