Bleary-eyed coffee brewers are waking up to find that their morning beverage literally may be a lifesaver. A recent Harvard study discovered coffee drinkers who consumed between two and four cups each day were half as likely to commit suicide.

And a cup of joe appears to ease depression even if someone is not at risk for suicide. An earlier study revealed women were 20 percent less likely to develop depression when they drank at least four cups daily. Women who drank at least two cups of coffee per day were 15 percent less likely to develop depression. Researchers avoid making claims that the latest study proves coffee fights depression.


The study’s authors do note coffee can trigger the release of endorphins just as antidepressants can. They say the lifesaving link with coffee seems to be caffeine. Drinking decaffeinated coffee did not produce the same benefit for people in the study.

The latest study in the World Journal of Biological Psychiatry analyzes three separate national surveys of 200,000 people where participants reported every four years on their coffee consumption. They also noted their consumption of other forms of caffeine. Researchers found 277 of them committed suicide.

The benefits of coffee are receiving increased attention. It not only can boost memory and reduce stress. It also may fight several types of cancer and diabetes. A recent Japanese study examining mice strengthened the indication that coffee reduces risk for Type 2 Diabetes.

The Japanese researchers let mice drink diluted black coffee instead of water to study any direct link between coffee and diabetes. At the end of five weeks, the coffee-drinking mice showed insulin that reduced the concentration of glucose in their blood better than the water-drinkers. They also had less fat in their abdomens and under their skin.

This study was unclear in revealing whether caffeine produced the result. Other studies showed decaffeinated coffee provided similar results in reducing risk for diabetes. The Japanese researchers say another compound in coffee may have anti-diabetic effects.

Coffee also has been linked with reducing chances you may develop liver cancer. For each cup of coffee consumed every day, the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research found a 14 percent reduced risk of liver cancer. The two organizations analyzed 34 studies covering 8.2 million people.