Coffee fiends, rejoice. While the possible link between coffee consumption and a lower chance of adult onset diabetes has been a topic bandied about recently, yesterday The Journal of the American Medical Association backed up the data using a large study in Finland.

The almighty bean has taken a backseat over recent years when it comes to health-related benefits in caffeine addiction. After all, green tea enjoyed a lot of press for purported antioxidant properties and claims that it can rev up weight loss. (So, it's not hard to imagine why Hain Celestial's (NASDAQ:HAIN) Celestial Seasonings now has a wide variety of green teas.)

The Finnish study involved 14,600 coffee fans. People in that country have a robust taste for coffee, with many citizens draining about nine or 10 cups of the liquid per day.

That's kind of bad news for some of us, as it appears to be that kind of consumption that produces the healthy effects. Women who drink three to four cups a day might expect a 29% reduction of diabetes risk, while men who consume the same would have a 27% lesser chance. More impressive effects were seen in downing 10 or more cups -- there, women showed an 80% less risk and men with a 55% reduction.

The news comes at an opportune time, considering all the recent talk of obesity. Obesity and lack of exercise are linked to diabetes, and that disease is among several that have led to such a high-profile attention to the ill effects of excess weight on health.

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) would love it if you had a nine- or 10-cups-a-day habit. So would companies that are trying to cash in on Starbucks' coffee success by providing individualized coffee makers, like Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG).

Before running off to buy shares of coffee purveyors, it's important to note that the American Heart Association sees some possible links to heart disease. People also worry about elevated stress levels, jitters, and, quite possibly, the social stigma of talking way too much, way too fast. According to a March 2004 article from the Specialty Coffee Association of America, last year 51% of American adults drank coffee, but that number was slightly down from 54% in 2000 -- half of us do steer clear.

Lately, health-related trends have proven an interesting aspect to watch when examining some companies, but the jury's still out on how Americans will react to this news or what other studies might reveal. However, balancing this news and Starbucks' international expansion plans, it makes you wonder: Will Starbucks say, "Hello, Helsinki"?

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Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any companies mentioned. To call her a caffeine fanatic might be putting it mildly.