Lifestyle & Belief

Coffee reduces risk of suicide, new study shows


The 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea in Seattle, Washington.


Morris Malakoff

In a study that surprises nobody who needs to get up for work every morning, drinking coffee is linked to reduced risk of suicide.

Researchers at Harvard found that people who drink several cups of coffee everyday were 50 percent less likely to commit suicide.

The study looked at about 200,000 people spanning over 20 years. Those that drank about two to three cups per day - about 400 mg - were half as likely to take their own lives.

Although the study showed that people got caffeine from various sources, like chocolate and tea, coffee seemed to be the most common and effective.

The reason is not because coffee helps us make it through the day.

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Rather, coffee helps in the production of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, like serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline that boost your mood.

Researchers said the study is unique in that it identifies caffeine as an antidepressant.

"Unlike previous investigations, we were able to assess association of consumption of caffeinated and non-caffeinated beverages, and we identify caffeine as the most likely candidate of any putative protective effect of coffee," said lead study author Michel Lucas, from the Harvard School of Public Health, in a press release.

The study was published in Word Journal of Biological Psychiatry.

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