In recent years, coffee has replaced red wine as the go-to addictive product that everyone swears is good for you because of this article they read one time. That article is now this one after researchers concluded that those who drink 2-4 cups of coffee a day are 50% less likely to commit suicide than their miserable non-coffee-drinking peers. The full coffee-suicide report is available in The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry.
A research team at Harvard School of Public Health – evidentially low on things to research – analyzed the health data of 43,599 men who participated in the Health Professionals Follow Up Study between 1988 and 2008, as well as the health data of nearly 165,000 women who participated in similar studies between 1993 and 2007. In those studies, men and women were tracked on their physical and mental health, as well as a multitude of actions that they did or did not do. One of those actions tracked was in regards to the subject’s coffee consumption. Harvard researchers were able to connect a significant relation between heavy coffee drinkers and less depression, as well as a 50% lower chance of suicide.
The Harvard team’s theory is that the caffeine in coffee promotes serotonin production in the brain. This daily influx of serotonin curbs depression, and leads to longer, happier lives. Subjects who reported drinking caffeinated drinks besides coffee were also less depressed or suicidal, but the high-caffeine content in coffee singled it out as the clear choice for happiest beverage.
So should depressed people ditch the Prozac for some Starbucks? Not exactly. The report states that, “…most individuals adjust their caffeine intake to an optimal level for them and an increase could result in unpleasant side effects. Overall, our results suggest that there is little further benefit for consumption above two to three cups/day or 400 mg of caffeine/day."
So there you go; if you’re happy with your coffee addiction, don’t let anyone tell you to cut down. They’re probably just jealous because they don’t like coffee, and thus are sad, sad little men and women.