Research Indicates Drinking Coffee Lowers the Risk of Suicide

Read enough writing on the subject of nutrition and healthy eating over the years and you’re likely to see certain foods alternately extolled and criticized. Coffee may be the best example; exploring researchers’ findings on it over the last 40 years can involve sifting through a mass of contradictory information and advice. That’s one of the conclusions from a recent article by Jane E. Brody, the longtime Personal Health columnist for The New York Times.

“I’ve lived through decades of sporadic warnings that coffee could be a health hazard,” Brody wrote. But now, things have changed, and the scientific consensus appears to be wholeheartedly in favor of coffee’s role as a net positive for everyday health. That also includes mental health; one of the studies cited by Brody in her column notes that coffee drinkers are at a lower risk of death by suicide.

That statistic comes from a 2013 study conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health. The study noted that daily consumption of multiple cups of coffee “appears to reduce the risk of suicide in men and women by about 50%.”

The study posits that caffeine can boost the levels of serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline in the human brain when consumed, making it a mild antidepressant. It’s good news for coffee drinkers — your beverage of choice might just be benefiting you in ways you never imagined.