x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

A jolt of happiness?

Great news, coffee drinkers: the latest research adds to the long list of positive effects that a reasonable dose of the brew can bring.

Coffee drinkers have long known the benefits of their favourite beverage: it's both a convenient pick-me-up and the perfect lubricant for friendly conversation.

Health experts, on the other hand, have long told us that too much coffee is a bad thing. But that stance has been qualified in recent years, with revelations that the caffeinated drink - which originated in Yemen - may play a part in keeping skin cancer and Alzheimer's disease at bay, and reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. It's even been said to reduce recovery time after colon surgery, and to reduce the risk of oral cancer.

Now, following a 16-year study by the Harvard School of Public Health, a paper in The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry concludes that people who drink two to four cups of full-strength coffee a day are less likely - by around 50 per cent - to commit suicide than those who drink fewer than two cups a day, or who consume the non-caffeinated variety.

That certainly is good news - although it is entirely possible that another study will come up with different results, as seems to happen so often with studies on the health benefits of different foodstuffs. And don't even think about adding milk and sugar.