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Agencies New Delhi, November 15, 2014 : Coffee does more than help you get started and keep going. It also keeps you healthy. Over the past two decades, close to 20,000 studies have closely examined the effect of coffee on health and almost all conclude that a few cups a day lower the risk of several diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, colon cancer, liver cirrhosis and Parkinson's.An average person's daily caffeine intake should not exceed 300 mg- that's about three cups of coffee a day Last week, US researchers identified how coffee helps you lose weight and lower diabetes risk. A compound called chlorogenic acid (CGA) in coffee beans lowered insulin resistance and fat accumulation in the liver, they report in the journal Pharmaceutical Research. The compound is a powerful antioxidant that reduces inflammation, a risk factor for heart attacks and stroke.Apart from coffee beans, CGA is found in lower amounts in fruits and vegetables, such as apples, pears, tomatoes and blueberries. Other antioxidants found in coffee beans include phenols, volatile aroma compounds and oxazoles, all of which prevent cell damage that slow disease development and ageing.Drinking one to three cups of caffeinated coffee each day reduced diabetes risk by several percentage points, compared with not drinking coffee at all. More significantly, having six cups or more a day slashed men's diabetes risk by 54% and women's risk by 30% over those who avoided coffee, wrote researchers from Harvard in The Annals of Internal Medicine. The study does make you wonder, though, whether the participants slept at all during the duration of the study.Then, there are heart benefits. Using data on more than 27,000 women ages 55 to 69 in the Iowa Women's Health Study who were followed for 15 years, Norwegian researchers concluded that women who drank one to three cups a day reduced their risk of heart disease by 24% compared with those who drank no coffee at all.As a stimulant, caffeine leaves some people sleepless, but most others benefit from its kick. It increases the speed of rapid information processing in the brain by 10%, and a couple of cups help to improve alertness and concentration during night shift hours, report researchers in Psychopharmacology.
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