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Health Benefit 2. Defeating Diabetes
Studies link frequent coffee consumption (4 cups per day or more) with a lowered risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Scientists suspect that antioxidant compounds in coffee-cholorogenic acid and quinides-may boost cells' sensitivity to insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar. While most of the research didn't assess whether the brews were caffeinated, decaf may be even better, since other studies have found that caffeine tends to blunt the insulin-sensitivity boost.

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Find out the health benefits beyond why you should be drinking coffee.

Over 18,000 studies have looked at coffee use in the past few decades. Lately more and more are reporting real health benefits for coffee drinkers-but they must be balanced against the brew's possible bitter effects, especially in higher, caffeinated doses.

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An ideal "dose" of java is hard to determine, since people's perceptions of "a cup of coffee " vary as widely as coffee-mug sizes do. But the good news is that many of the benefits are associated with around two to four (8-ounce) cups a day-"and that's what most Americans drink anyway," notes Joe Vinson, Ph.D., a coffee expert at the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Some intriguing findings:

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