Harvard study: Caffeine may lower risk of suicide
MANILA, Philippines - Can caffeine really reduce the risk of suicide?
A new study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers explored this and looked closer at how caffeine can serve as a "mild anti-depressant." They concluded that "drinking several cups of coffee daily appears to reduce the risk of suicide."
Data pulled in from 3 large studies in the US showed that the suicide risk of those who drank two to 4 cups of caffeinated coffee a day was about half of those who drank decaffeinated coffee or very little or no coffee. In the studies, a respondent's caffeine consumption was assessed every 4 years through a questionnaire.
The respondents were all adults, and the study was published online on July 2.
The authors, however, cautioned the public from increasing coffee intake as it 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,” wrote the researchers.
The authors observed that there was no major difference in suicide risk for adults who drank 2-3 cups a day from those who drank 4 cups or more.
According to his online profile at the HSPH website, lead researcher Michel Lucas has been interested in studying the epidemiology of dietary factors and lifestyle in depression.
"We identify caffeine as the most likely candidate of any putative protective effect of coffee,” Lucas said. - Rappler.com
Coffee cups image from Shutterstock