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Science: Can decaffeinated coffee reduce urinary incontinence symptoms?

There are some scientists who believe that caffeine intake can cause or exacerbate urinary incontinence.

But, it must be noted that this evidence is mixed with some studies reporting no effect and others linking caffeine to urinary symptoms.

However, there has been more research on the effects of both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee on urinary incontinence symptoms.

In a study published in Neurourology & Urodynamics Paper in 2015, scientists studied “the effects of regular and decaffeinated coffee on urinary symptoms in young and healthy volunteers”.

What was the study about?

It focused on the effects of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee on urinary symptoms.

How did they conduct the study?

  • 49 young men and women took part in the study
  • After five days of abstaining from caffeine, participants were randomly assigned to consume:


  • 1) Regular caffeinated coffee (450 mg of caffeine per day) – over five days
  • OR
  • 2) Decaffeinated coffee (12 mg of caffeine per day) – over five days

Urinary symptoms were then recorded and studied throughout the course of the five days.

What was the Conclusion of the Study?

  • The scientists concluded that high caffeine intake is associated with increased urinary frequency and urgency.
  • Both urinary frequency and urgency were increased in the high caffeine intake group.
  • No changes in urinary symptoms were noted in the decaffeinated coffee group over the course of the study.
  • Coffee drinking habits before the study were an important factor in how caffeine intake affected urinary symptoms during the study.
  • Participants who had a history of ‘low coffee use’ (less than half a cup per day) showed a more dramatic increase in urinary symptoms with high caffeine intake.
  • In contrast, those with a history of ‘frequent coffee use’ (more than 1 cup per day) were less affected by regular coffee consumption.
  • However, frequent coffee users showed a significant decrease in urinary symptoms while consuming decaffeinated coffee.

Can decaffeinated coffee reduce urinary incontinence symptoms?

It would appear that, based on this this study and research, limiting caffeine intake could help reduce urinary symptoms.

Among frequent coffee drinkers, decaffeinated coffee may provide improvement in urinary symptoms.



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