The Health Perks of Coffee

Most people are satisfied with the pep in their step they get from drinking a cup of coffee.

But your daily cup of joe could be better for you than you realize.

CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton says studies show caffeinated coffee may be beneficial for you, from head-to-toe.

Starting from the top, Ashton said, "We're talking about a reduction in the risk of oral and neck cancers, with more than four cups of coffee a day thought to decrease the risk by 39 percent."

And, while we've all heard caffeine can be bad for us, the good may outweigh the risks.

Caffeine can actually reduce the risk of heart disease. Ashton explained that, "There's an antioxidant found in caffeinated beverages like black tea, green tea, called flavonoids, to reduce the risk."

Studies have shown that women who drink two-and-a-half cups of coffee a day are at a lower risk for uterine cancer. "That protective effect is seen even in obese women who themselves are at higher risk," said Ashton.

Caffeine is also good for men -- those who drink six or more cups a day reduce their chance for prostate cancer by 60 percent, research indicates.

Though amount of coffee may seem like a lot, Ashton reminds us to keep everything in moderation.

"Excessive caffeine can have its side effects," said Ashton.

And caffeine lowers the risk of getting type 2 diabetics by 7 percent, one study showed.