Coffee May Lower Suicide Risk, Says New Research

A morning cup of coffee may do more than provide a boost of energy, according to recent research at the Harvard School of Public Health—in fact, a few daily cups of coffee appears to reduce the risk of suicide in adults by 50 percent.

The research, published earlier this month in The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry, looked at data from three large US studies—in all, a sample of over 200,000 participants studied for time spans of at least 16 years. Every four years, participants answered questions about their caffeine consumption from coffee and other sources (tea, soda, and chocolate).

The results revealed that the suicide risk for those who drank two to four cups of caffeinated coffee every day was about 50 percent lower compared to those that drank no coffee, very little coffee, or decaf.

Lead researcher Michel Lucas stressed to the Huffington Post that it’s the caffeine that’s primarily responsible for these effects, pointing to the boost of production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline that caffeine provides. All three are important to your mental well-being—serotonin helps regulate mood, dopamine helps control your brain’s reward and pleasure centers, and noradrinaline helps you handle stress.

Of course, as promising as this research is, it’s important to remember that guzzling down a few cups of coffee is no substitute for professional mental help if you’re suffering from depression or having thoughts of suicide. In fact, those who drank more than four cups of coffee a day actually had a heightened risk of depression, and excess caffeine consumption can have unpleasant side effects like insomnia, nervousness, and restlessness. So if you’re struggling with depression, look to your therapist, not your Starbucks barista, for help.

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Rosemary H.
Rosemary H4 years ago

Ah, the first cup in the morning is always the best!

I had PTSD in the past and did feel suicidal at times. What stopped me wasn't counselling - dumb counsellors! - but the idea that there was one more thing to try first...over and over again - 'one more thing to try first'! Eventually I found the right thing to try, but I'm not sure my morning coffee had much to do with it. Maybe.. I get my best ideas in the morning...

Chelsea M.
Chelsea M4 years ago

Coffee always helps me get excited for the day so this makes sense for me.

Frans Badenhorst
Frans Badenhorst4 years ago

hahahahaha there you go......

Skylar S.
Skylar S4 years ago

Huh. The more you know I guess.

Kenneth L.
Kenneth L4 years ago

Well, well, well, another study. 2-4 cups of coffee a day 'appears to' (huh?) reduce the risk of suicide in adults by 50%. But more than 4 cups 'had a heightened risk' of depression. Huh? Does it seem like they don't know what they're doing.? Bingo!
Biological Psychiatry has never PROVEN their assertions regarding dopamine, serotonin, or noradrenaline that they cause suicide in the first place. Which is why 'studies' like this are as dumb as their assertions.
You could ask thousands of people ANY factor, such as how many read books compared to those that don't, check it against people in the group who have ever had thoughts of suicide, and voila----you would have a result. Same with ANY factor--------those who ate corn flakes twice a week compared to those who ate them only once a week---or those who wore a hat sometimes to a restaurant, and those who never did----ANY factor can be used to get a result in ANY study regarding ANYTHING and 'seem to' or 'may' be used to look significant.

Lindsay Kemp
Lindsay K4 years ago

Thanks for sharing. I love coffee, but it has to be good, strong, and not too much at a time!

Suzanne Serio
Suzanne Serio4 years ago


BA R4 years ago


Susana Leanza
Susana Leanza4 years ago

this is controversial because some experts actually advise depression patients not to take coffee.

Carole R.
Carole R4 years ago

Interesting. Thanks