In examining the pooled multivariate relative risk, Lucas et al. found that drinking caffeinated coffee actually decreased the risk of suicide. Specifically, drinking at least two to three cups (8 oz) of caffeinated coffee per day seemed to reduce the risk of suicide by about 50% as compared to those participants who consumed 1 or less cup of coffee per day. Lucas and colleagues found only small increases in benefits for drinking more than 3 cups of caffeinated coffee per day. “Unlike previous investigations, we were able to assess association of consumption of caffeinated and non-caffeinated beverages, and we identify caffeine as the most likely candidate of any putative protective effect of coffee,” Lucas said in a press statement.
Previous research has suggested that caffeine boosts such neurotransmitters as serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline in the brain, which have mild antidepressant effects. This may be the reason behind the apparent reduced suicide risk. Nonetheless, there are negative effects associated with caffeine, so the researchers cautioned patients and clinicians about large amounts of caffeine intake.
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