Research: Coffee Tied to Lower Risk of Suicide

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If you are looking for a reason to have that extra cup of coffee, this may work. New research shows it just might be the brew to lower the risk of suicide in both men and women.

The research shows adults who drink two to four cups of coffee per day are 50 percent less likely to commit suicide than those who don't.

The report comes from researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health. They say drinking several cups of coffee daily appears to reduce the risk in both men and women.  The new study says caffeine not only stimulates the central nervous system but also acts as a mild antidepressant.

Nicholas Cardoni, the manager at Mudhouse Coffee in Charlottesville, says the results are not surprising. "There are certainly stimulating effects of caffeine and I think what it does for me is provide some clarity and focus for my thought process and definitely makes me feel more energetic and ready to tackle the day."

Coffee connoisseurs say the social aspect of coffee may also play a role in reducing the risk.

"It's a way of interacting with others and obviously if you're interacting with somebody, that's a way of feeling good about yourself," said Dave Fafara, owner of Shenandoah Joe.

Researchers do not recommend that depressed adults up their caffeine intake because of certain side effects.

This research comes just after a report from the medical examiner's office showing suicides in Virginia hit a 13-year high in 2011.

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