It might seem innocuous enough, but that morning latte you just sucked down may well be the obstacle stopping you from finally shedding those pounds, according to a team of researchers from the Western Australian Institute of Medical Research (WAIMR).

Hoping to demonstrate improved cardiovascular function of coffee lovers, the team accidentally blundered upon findings that show that the morning brew might actually be linked to the worsening of the metabolic syndrome.

The study into a key compound of coffee, known as Chlorogenic Acid (CGA), found that while it may help lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, anywhere up from five to six cups of coffee per day results in insulin spikes, increased blood pressure and higher body fat accumulation.

"Studies have shown that coffee consumption lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes," said the University of WA's Professor Kevin Croft. "This also included research on decaffeinated coffee, which suggested that the health benefits are from a compound in coffee apart from caffeine.

"With this in mind, we studied the effects of Polyphenols, or more specifically CGAs, which are very rich in coffee but also found in tea and some fruits including plums. The CGAs were previously known for their health benefits, increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing blood pressure and body fat accumulation," he said.

"However, this study proved the opposite in dosages equivalent to five or six cups of coffee per day," said WAIMR's Assistant Professor Vance Matthews.