By Mike Pomranz
Updated November 17, 2014
© Line Klein

According to a University of Georgia study, a compound that is especially abundant in coffee not only helps prevent weight gain, but can also counteract some of the negative effects of obesity.

Chlorgenic acid, also known as CGA, is found in coffee and in fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, tomatoes and blueberries. For the study, researchers fed rodents a high-fat diet, and injected them with a concentrated CGA solution twice a week. The researchers found that the compound prevented weight gain, while maintaining normal blood sugar levels and healthy liver function.

“CGA is a powerful antioxidant that reduces inflammation,” Yongjie Ma, lead author of the study, told the Daily Mail. “A lot of evidence suggests that obesity-related diseases are caused by chronic inflammation, so if we can control that, we can hopefully offset some of the negative effects of excessive weight gain.”

However, don’t expect the amount of CGA in an extra espresso shot to counteract all the fat in that chestnut praline latte. Mice in the study received a dose of the compound far higher than humans would normally consume. Instead, the hope is that further research with CGA could be the basis of future treatments.

“We’re not suggesting that people start drinking a lot of coffee to protect themselves from an unhealthy lifestyle,” Ma said.

Fine. Instead, we’ll just continue drinking a lot of coffee to stay awake.