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    Coffee is a widely consumed beverage prepared from the roasted seeds—commonly called 'beans'—of the coffee plant. Coffee was first consumed as early as the 9th century, when it was discovered in the highlands of Ethiopia. From Ethiopia, it spread to Egypt and Yemen, and by the fifteenth century had reached Persia, Turkey, and northern Africa. From the Muslim world, coffee spread to Italy, then to the rest of Europe and the Americas. Today, coffee is one of the most popular beverages worldwide. Many scientific studies have examined the relationship between coffee consumption and a wide array of medical conditions. Most studies are contradictory as to whether coffee has any specific health benefits, and results are similarly conflicting with respect to negative effects of coffee consumption. As possible benefits, coffee appears to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, heart disease, diabetes mellitus type 2, cirrhosis of the liver, and gout. Some health effects are due to the caffeine content of coffee, as the benefits are only observed in those who drink caffeinated coffee, while others appear to be due to other components. For example, the antioxidants in coffee prevent free radicals from causing cell damage. Coffee's negative health effects are mostly due to its caffeine content. Research suggests that drinking caffeinated coffee can cause a temporary increase in the stiffening of arterial walls. Excess coffee consumption may lead to a magnesium deficiency or hypomagnesemia. Some studies suggest that it may have a mixed effect on short-term memory, by improving it when the information to be recalled is related to the current train of thought, but making it more difficult to recall unrelated information. Nevertheless, the mainstream view of medical experts is that drinking three 8-ounce cups of coffee per day (considered average or moderate consumption) does not have significant health risks for adults. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee