Turns out all the boys and girls standing in line for a latte are doing it right. A recent Harvard study revealed that caffeinated coffee may lower the suicide risk in both men and women by 50 percent.
Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health analyzed data from three large-scale studies in the US, comparing the risk of suicide among adults who drank two to four caffeinated cups per day to that of non-coffee drinkers, those who drank decaf and those who drank significantly less coffee per day.
The study was published in the The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry and included a total sample of more than 200,000 subjects who were monitored over a period of at least 16 years. Results indicated that the suicide risk for people who consumed two to four cups per day was about 50 percent less than the risk for participants in the other three groups.
Note: while other drinks such as tea and soda also contain caffeine, the levels pale in comparison to coffee. “Caffeine from coffee is about 80 percent caffeine intake,” stated Michel Lucas, the team’s lead researcher. “In one cup of coffee, you could have about 140 mg of caffeine.” In comparison, you get about 22-74 mg in tea.
“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,” explained Lucas in a statement.
Lucas attributed the lowered risks of depression and suicide to the effect caffeine has on the brain’s neurotransmitters that influence our emotions.
Of course, it’s all in moderation.
“Overall, our results suggest that there is little further benefit for consumption above two to three cups/day or 400 mg of caffeine/day,” stressed the study.
Bolstering the benefits of coffee, Huffpo observed, “Last year alone, published research linked moderate coffee intake with delayed Alzheimer’s onset, lowered risk of heart failure and reduced risk of basil cell carcinoma — the most common type of skin cancer.”
Seems like this is just further proof that our favorite beverage can do no wrong.
Oh, and am I drinking an iced coffee with an extra espresso shot while writing this? Damn straight.