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Coffee Prevents Suicide, Study Finds

 

A new study from Harvard University suggests that regular caffeine consumption lowers the risk of suicide.

Data was collected on 208,424 people, including details on their caffeine consumption. After reviewing the data compiled, the researchers noticed a significant correlation: those who drink several cups of caffeinated coffee daily were at a much lower risk of suicide than those who drank decaffeinated coffee, very little coffee, or no coffee at all.

It seems that 2-4 cups per day has the most protective effect. Coffee was the most common source of caffeine, but there is nothing particularly special about coffee. Other sources of caffeine offer the same benefit, including tea, caffeinated soft drink, and chocolate.

However, coffee has much more caffeine than these other sources. For example, one would have to consume 4 cups of tea to receive the same dose of caffeine as one would get from 2 cups of coffee. There is about 200mg of caffeine in one cup of java, compared to about 70-110mg per cup of tea, 35-60 mg per cup of soda, and 12mg per ounce of chocolate.

Jay Leno actually referred to this study on The Tonight Show. The punch-line for his joke was, “Just don’t tell these people that there’s no coffee or they will kill you.”

During the course of the study, 277 people died of suicide. The researchers found that the people who drank coffee regularly were 50 percent less likely to commit suicide. But the researchers only considered completed suicides—not attempted suicides.

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control, only 1 in 25 suicide attempts are successful. If that is true, then 6,925 of the people involved in the study attempted suicide unsuccessfully. They weren’t considered for the purposes of this study.

So is coffee really effective in lowering suicide risk and reducing related depression? Researchers think so, and here’s why:

“As well as stimulating the central nervous system, caffeine acts as a mild anti-depressant by boosting the production of particular neurotransmitters in the brain. These include noradrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin. This could explain the results of studies in the past that have linked the consumption of coffee to a lower risk of depression.”

If you don’t like coffee, there is more you can do to deal with depression. Physical exercise, natural sunlight and meditation have all been proven to help cope with feeling down.

 

Sources:

Grohol, John M., Psy. D. “Is Coffee the New Cure-All for Depression, Suicide? | World of Psychology.” PsychCentral.com. Psychology Central, 28 July 2013. Web. 01 Aug. 2013.

Robertson, Emma. “Could Coffee Help Prevent Depression? Two Cups a Day ‘may Reduce the Risk of Suicide by 50%’” Dailymail.uk.co.com. Mail Online, 26 July 2013. Web. 01 Aug. 2013.

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Written by

Kevin Giles is a product of Santa Cruz, CA – the stoner capitol of the world. A born again Christian, Kevin loves his Lord Jesus and believes that his purpose in life is determined by God. He first entered drug recovery at the age of 19, suffering from an addiction to marijuana. He is a recent graduate of the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, where he earned his Master’s degree in Christian Ministry. Passionate about God’s Word, he aspires to become a pastor or missionary. Kevin has also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from California State University, Monterey Bay. His interests include traveling, movies, golf, fitness and reading. He also enjoys being outdoors as well as spending time with friends and family. Kevin’s faith, education and life experience give him a unique perspective on addiction, recovery and spirituality.

Filed under: Research · Tags: caffeine, coffee, suicide

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