The Harvard School of Public Health did a study on coffee and found that people who drank it tended to have a lower risk of suicide. As in a 50% lower risk.
Granted, there’s always been a lot of talk about the pros and cons of coffee consumption, but if you’re on the pro-coffee side you can tuck this one into your argumentative arsenal. From the Harvard Gazette:
In the new study, researchers examined data on 43,599 men enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS) (1988–2008), 73,820 women in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) (1992–2008), and 91,005 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II (NHSII) (1993–2007). Caffeine, coffee, and decaffeinated coffee intake was assessed every four years by questionnaires. Caffeine consumption was calculated from coffee and other sources, including tea, caffeinated soft drinks, and chocolate. However, coffee was the major caffeine source — 80 percent for NHS, 71 percent for NHS II, and 79 percent for HPFS. Among the participants in the three studies, there were 277 deaths from suicide.
In spite of the findings, the authors do not recommend that depressed adults increase caffeine consumption, because 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,” the authors wrote.
Of course, I’m pretty sure that there’s something to be said about the value of coffee black versus the latte mocha frappacino’d sugar and cream fest some people prefer. But who knows? If you’re feeling a bit down, try an extra cuppa and see what happens?