A recent study, which occurred at the University Hospital Heidelberg in Germany, found that drinking coffee significantly reduces the time needed to recover from bowel obstruction following abdominal surgery. The study lead by Dr. Sascha Müller looked at more than 80 patients’ recoveries from surgery and divided them into two groups. One group was given 100mL of water 3 times a day while the other group was given 100mL of caffeinated coffee 3 times a day. The patients all faced surgery for a variety of reasons with the majority (56 percent) suffering from colon cancer. Another 28 percent of patients suffered from diverticular disease, a type of condition wherein there are structural problems with the colon; 13 suffered from inflammatory bowel disease and the remainder had various conditions. The patients were of comparable health, age 61 on average and were 56 percent male. These conditions allowed for the trial to look at a variety of responses by patients.
According to the study, those who received the caffeine treatment had their first bowel movement a full 14 hours before those who had only water. The first bowel movement occurred at 60 hours for those on caffeine versus those who did not have caffeine who had their first bowel movement at 74 hours. Similarly, those who had caffeine were able to have solid food at around 49 hours while those who had only water were only able to keep solid food at 56 hours.