To hear most recent research tell it, coffee is a miracle drink. The magic beans will ward off skin cancer and Alzheimer’s, reduce heart failure and diabetes risks, heighten focus, and maybe even protect liver health. Oh, and decrease suicide risk, according to the newest study that validates our coffee addictions.
According to a study performed by the Harvard School of Public Health and published this month in The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry, people who drink two to four cups of java each day are less likely to commit suicide than those who don’t drink coffee, drink decaf, or drink fewer than two cups each day. The study followed over 200,000 people for at least 16 years. And it’s not just a weak link: the researchers found that the suicide risk was cut by around 50 percent for caffeine fiends.
This isn’t the first time that researchers have discovered that coffee and smiles might go hand-in-hand. A 2011 study found that women who drink coffee cut their risk of depression by 15 percent compared to those who don’t. Michel Lucas, the head researcher of the most recent study, told The Huffington Post that coffee addicts can thank caffeine for the good news. The drug may actually act like a mild anti-depressant by tweaking levels of happy hormones like serotonin and dopamine.
Of course, there’s plenty of research out there that doesn’t look so kindly upon coffee drinkers. Recently, the New Yorker published an article arguing that while coffee may heighten focus, that means it also puts a squeeze on creativity. And of course, coffee’s well-known negative effects like insomnia and disturbed sleep cycles still hold.
Regardless, we’ll raise our mugs to this most recent study for giving us one more validation for our vice.