Which Coffee Type is Easier on the Stomach: Light or Dark Roast?

Does coffee brew up irritation in your  stomach or give you heartburn? If yes, you are not alone—studies say more than 40 million people in America are forced to stay off coffee because of these problems.

A research study conducted by scientists from Austria and Germany points to a simple solution: drink dark roast. The study states that dark roasted coffee is easier on the stomach than light and mild roasts because it produces an ingredient that prevents hydrochloric acid from building up in the stomach.

“This discovery is going to help a lot of people who suffer from coffee sensitivity,” say Veronika Somoza, Ph.D. from the University of Vienna in Austria, and Thomas Hofmann, Ph.D. from the Technische Universität MÜnchen in Germany, who conducted the study. 

 For the study, researchers took human cells that regulate acid secretion in the stomach and exposed them to different types of coffee: regular, dark-roast, mild, decaffeinated, and low-acid. The cells were found to react differently to different roasts–surprisingly, beans that were roasted longer resulted in lower amounts of acid!

Caffeine and two plant compounds are the key ingredients that stimulate the most acid production in coffee drinkers. But interestingly, scientists discovered another compound that  had the opposite effect. This compound, named N-methylpyridinium (NMP), was generated as the coffee beans were roasted. The longer they roasted, the higher the levels of NMP were formed. In fact, dark roast coffee was found to contain almost twice as much NMP as other roasts, depending on the variety of the coffee bean and the roasting method.

Researchers also gave the thumbs up to coffees being marketed as low-acid or easy on the stomach–manufacturers of these coffees usually treat raw coffee beans with steam or other chemical solvents, such as ethyl acetate and dichloromethane, prior to roasting, and the study found that those methods do in fact lower the levels of acid-producing compounds.

 So avoid your morning cuppa no longer! Wake up and smell the (dark roast) coffee!

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Kelly S
Past Member about a year ago

none agree wit me

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill4 years ago

Interesting, thanks.

Bobi E.
Past Member 4 years ago

WOW! I loved this article and I am taking it to my doctor the next visit. I have tried giving up my 2 cups of morning coffee for several years, but I turn into a mess of a person you don't want to live with! So, this is great news, and I will have my coffee, dark roast here I come! Thank you for sharing.

Hent Catalina-Maria

Thank you for sharing!

Panchali Yapa
Panchali Yapa4 years ago

Thank you

Heidi Aubrey
Heidi Aubrey4 years ago

I don't know about easiness, but I like Taster's Choice for my instant cup and Yuban for percolated-the choice is simply time constraints.

Cheryl Mallon-Bond

I never tried dark roast coffee..& boy! I have really been missing something speci! I will NEVER go back to regular roast again! Not only is it easier on the stomach, but the taste is much superior! It actually has a sweet flavor to it. How I even tried it in the first place,,was my brother telling me about "bulletproof" coffee. The "paelo way", it is out of this world!, not only so flavorful, but so good for.you!, fat burning & ZERO stomach irritation! You brew up the dark roast, I use 16 oz. & (using a blender) take 1 tsp Organic unrefined coconut oil, & 1tsp Ghee (clarified butter). I pour the coffee over the tsp of coconut oil directly in the blender to melt the coconut oil, (because it solidifies at room temp), then put in the tsp of ghee. Put the lid on & blend on low, working up to a high speed. Let mix for at least 30 seconds & pour into your coffee mug & ENJOY! It is DELICIOUS! I add a small amount of organic coconut sugar, but am working my way to.going w/out it, using a little less each day. Drinking coffee prepared this way fuels your energy big time, because coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid that is used immediately by the body as fuel & you can read up on it...it makes your body a fat burning machine..(as long as you are not.pounding down carbs the rest of the day) Try it!, it's delicious! & good for you!!!!

Terre P.
Terre P4 years ago

Dark roast has less caffeine too!

Jane R.
Jane R4 years ago

Interesting, but I don't drink coffee.