We all know coffee helps us through the morning. A new study by the Harvard School of Public Health, though, shows us coffee helps us survive the rest of the day as well. Men and women who drink two cups of coffee per day lower their suicide risk by 50 percent. That morning trip to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts may actually be a lifesaver.
The Harvard research team, led by Michel Lucas, brewed their findings from a massive study. Over 200,000 subjects provided data spanning 16-years. This green data, roasted and ground down by the Harvard team, showed an undeniable link between 2 to 4 cups of coffee and lowered suicide risk.
The findings, published in The Journal of Biological Psychiatry, do come with a few asterisks, though. Sorry decaf fans, but it’s the caffeine, not the intoxicating aroma which helps maintain mental health. And while logic suggests drinking double the coffee would double the benefits, this is not the case. The study shows any correlation between coffee and lowered suicide risk plateaus at around 4 cups of coffee. This amounts to around 400 milligrams of caffeine daily. Drinking 8 cups of coffee only gives one the shakes.
The Harvard School of Public Health’s study gains credulity by other recent scientific findings. Other Harvard researchers found in 2011 that similar intake of caffeine lowers the risk of depression in women by up to 15 percent. Add to that mitigating effects against Alzheimer’s disease, cardiopulmonary problems and even some cancers and we’re left asking, “Have you had your cup of coffee today?”