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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thursday's Psychology Trivia Answer: Do Two Cupsof Coffee A Day Keeps Depression Away?

Thought for the Day: Today I said goodbye to 2 of my summer interns, Adam  Sierzputowski and Claire Freeman. Their work on the blog, newsletter & the Kindle free download promotion helped make my book a number on best seller in two categories on Amazon. Claire's great organizational skills & team building initiatives helped make this a great Dream Team of interns. Their help this summer was greatly appreciated & they will be missed. I feel sure they will make strides towards their dreams this year and in the years to come! It's time for the answer to Tuesday's Psychology Trivia Question:          

         True of False: Drinking coffee reduces the likelihood that someone will commit suicide.
The answer is: True .

Marge Dwyer, Harvard School of Public Health Communications at The Harvard Gazette reports that a study from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) found 50% lower risk of suicide for adults who drank between 2-4 cups of coffee each day when compared with adults who drank decaffeinated coffee, very little or no coffee.

In case you think you should simply start drinking massive doses of caffeine, hold your horses. The results were not conclusive regarding people who drink more than 2 - 4 cups of coffee a day. In fact, in a previous study from HSPH analyzing how coffee was related to depression a heightened depression effect occurred in those who drank 4 or more cups per day.

The researchers believe that in addition to stimulating the central nervous system, "caffeine acts as a mild anti-depressant by boosting the production of particular neurotransmitters in the brain...including noradrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin." This may explain the results of studies that have linked the consumption of coffee to a lower risk of depression. What should you do? Drinking 2 - 4 cups of coffee a day may be wise. There are down sides to caffeine, so the takeaway is if you can keep it at 2 cups or so a day, it probably will do not harm and might work as an antidepressant.

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