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Unexpected Perks of Coffee Consumption

Your daily cup of java may deliver some unexpected health benefits. Studies have shown it may lower your risk for Type II diabetes and certain types of cancer (colon, mouth and throat), and protect against heart disease and cavities.

Dr. Alanna Levine, a primary care physician, said on "The Early Show" researchers aren't sure exactly why coffee has these benefits, but speculated that perhaps the coffee has antioxidant properties.

Coffee a Health Super-Drink?

"(The benefits are) shown in both decaf and regular coffee. It may not be the caffeine but antioxidants can decrease inflammation and cell damage," she said. "You don't have to feel guilty grabbing that cup of joe in the morning."

However, Levine added moderation is the key to maximizing the benefits of coffee.

"I wouldn't go chugging coffee all day long to decrease the risks of cancer," she said. "There are side effects of drinking coffee. I wouldn't advocate a constant infusion of coffee."

Also, Levine said certain people, such as diabetics, pregnant women and people who have trouble sleeping, should limit their coffee intake. Pregnant women, she added, should drink only one or two cups a day.

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