Coffee may lower suicide risk by 50 percent

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Coffee may lower suicide risk by 50 percent

Postby Ben » Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:02 am

Cor blimey! An interesting finding...

Speaking to The Huffington Post, Lucas stressed that it's the caffeine in coffee that's primarily responsible for these effects. He linked the lowered risks of depression and suicide to the impact caffeine has on the brain or, more specifically, on neurotransmitters that have been shown to have an effect on emotions.

And while other drinks like soda and tea also offer caffeine, they don't contain nearly the same levels as coffee...

...However, as the researchers indicated in the study, moderation is still key. (Though caffeine intoxication was already a disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the latest version, DSM-5, added caffeine withdrawal as a related diagnosis.)

"Overall, our results suggest that there is little further benefit for consumption above two to three cups/day or 400 mg of caffeine/day," the authors wrote

-- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/2 ... lp00000009


So, what do you think?
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Coffee may lower suicide risk by 50 percent

Postby pegembara » Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:27 am

And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Re: Coffee may lower suicide risk by 50 percent

Postby SarathW » Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:02 am

Advisor said:

"Vietnam’s overproduction also coincided with a drastic increase in Brazil’s coffee production. This caused supply to far exceed demand."

http://www.fairtrade.net/coffee.html

=====================
Managing director asked:

"Can you get someone to do a research so we can get people to drink more coffee"
:)
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Re: Coffee may lower suicide risk by 50 percent

Postby danieLion » Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:56 am

Hi all,
The actual study is correlational only (not causal) and does not "control" for directionality (do suicidals drink more coffee or are coffee drinkers less suicidal?).

I'm always trying to reduce my coffee intake and have struggled with depression and suicidal ideation for years. I've only tried to quit coffee cold turkey once--in '97. I became severely depressed and suicidal within 24 hours. On the third day, I gave in and started partaking again. My symptoms immediately subsided. The flip side of this is depenence and tolerance. I'm so addicted that I'll get insomnia if I drinki too little coffee. To convolute matters, caffeine milligrams can vary wildly from cup to cup, making it difficult to guage consumption just by amount.

SarathW,
When you say:
SarathW wrote:Managing director asked:

"Can you get someone to do a research so we can get people to drink more coffee"
:)


what are you referencing?
Kindly,
dL
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Re: Coffee may lower suicide risk by 50 percent

Postby SarathW » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:25 am

Hi Dan
I think most of the research are marketing gimmicks.
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Re: Coffee may lower suicide risk by 50 percent

Postby dagon » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:29 am

Yes interesting – but coffee lowers the occurrence of symptoms and risks but it is not a cure.

There have been a number of threads relating to depression and depression in individual case of late. There has been much advice, all well-meant some maybe not so helpful.

There is the temptation to say that the Dhamma taught by Buddha is the answer to depression (which in the end is the ending of all suffering). The point being that anyone who has acute depression needs first aid – not taking one’s life is a prerequisite for engaging in the 8FP. As far as I understand Buddha taught us a stepped approach and used that approach when teaching the Dhamma. It is hard to see how someone in the depths of despair (depression) would be in a position to understand the Dhamma and gain the benefits associated with that understanding. At best what is likely to be achieved is a sentimental attachment to Buddhism, not one based on philosophy and realization from within.

Just as Buddha taught us Dhamma saying that it was a raft to be used to cross the river, that we should not become attached to the raft and should discard the raft once it was no longer of use: there are a raft of mundane treatments that are available. My preferred website: http://www.beyondblue.org.au/

If we look at the causes of the disease and with a view of compassion and metta then we are not only able to care/advise others but also assist our own development. I had been reading http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/stud ... index.html and there is much there that would help us understands the Dhamma that explains depression and the ultimate CURE.

In the meantime there is the need to ensure that the sufferer of depression does not take their own life because if that happens; the karmic results ….. Within the materials that are available to assist the afflict person there are those that are conducive to practicing the Dhamma, those that are natural and those that are not conducive. To illustrate the point: many people suffering from depression and other psychological disorders self-medicate with strong intoxicants that not only fail to address the issues but add to the medical and social issues they face. At the other end of the scale there are treatments such as “Mindful Based Cognitive Therapy” which not only is conducive to dealing with the issue at hand but provides a great vehicle to propagate the Dhamma (if we want to put in the effort).

It is unusual that one therapy meets the needs of the individual so a raft has to be built out of what is available. For some coffee may be an element that helps – we should not judge or be critical, rather we should act in accordance with the 5 precepts.
Metta
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Re: Coffee may lower suicide risk by 50 percent

Postby Ben » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:48 am

Greetings Paul
Excellent post!
Personally, I think the story is interesting. I have had experience where sometimes the ingestion of coffee has triggered a temporary but acute episode of anxiety/depression, and other times not. While it was not news to me that coffee affected mood - I was surprised by how much of a positive impact it can have (according to the study).

IMHO, the Dhamma is the long-term treatment and cure but in the short-term - perhaps a medical/therapeutic/lifestyle treatment or combination of treatments are required to get the sufferer to a point where they can either manage their depression or be able to practice Dhamma to a point where it has a positive influence on their life and the underpinning causes or triggers for their health issue.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Coffee may lower suicide risk by 50 percent

Postby danieLion » Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:44 am

Hi Ben,
Ben wrote:IMHO, the Dhamma is the long-term treatment and cure but in the short-term - perhaps a medical/therapeutic/lifestyle treatment or combination of treatments are required to get the sufferer to a point where they can either manage their depression or be able to practice Dhamma to a point where it has a positive influence on their life and the underpinning causes or triggers for their health issue.

1) Are you saying there's no Dhamma in medicine, therapy and lifestyle treatment?

2) Are you saying there's no medicine, therapy and lifestyle treatment in Dhamma?

3) Perhaps the directionality works both ways or concurrently. Perhaps practicing the Dhamma can help sufferers of depression get to the point where medicine, therapy and lifestyle treatment can help them manage their depression? Perhaps they can work side-by-side? Perhaps the Dhamma can act as a motivator, giving the sufferer a reason to even try--a crucial aspect of managing depression?

4) The Dhamma is only a "cure" in terms of dukkha-nirodha. This does not mean one never feels pain again. It means one's relationship to it has fundamentally changed. The Buddha felt pain after his awakening. I bet the Buddha got depressed after his awakening. Thinking that the Dhamma is a cure for depression just sets us for disappointment.

Kindly,
dL
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Re: Coffee may lower suicide risk by 50 percent

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:46 am

According to my father, a very published basic science research Microbioligist, the vast majority of "scientific" studies being published today are not worth the paper they are printed on. Why? Because they fail to properly and strictly use the scientific method, and instead set out with an agenda to prove, which they some how manage to prove, whether or not the data fits their hypothesis. Im not saying this particular study falls into that genre, far from it, just to say some healthy amount of scepticism is in order for most "scientific studies" your read in the media, especially something like the Huffington post. Now of Course if your read the study in the JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association, there is a higher standard of proof, and the study is much more likely to be based on proper science, If you read a story about Alcohol consumption increases IQ test scores by undergrads at the Bayou Junior College, for instance, you can pretty much take any conclusion they make with a grain of salt.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Coffee may lower suicide risk by 50 percent

Postby danieLion » Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:57 am

Hi dagon,
dagon wrote:Yes interesting – but coffee lowers the occurrence of symptoms and risks but it is not a cure.

Niether the researchers nor anyone here has claimed it as a cure.
dagon wrote:There have been a number of threads relating to depression and depression in individual case of late. There has been much advice, all well-meant some maybe not so helpful.

Specifically which parts do you think are helpful and which are un-helpful?

dagon wrote:There is the temptation to say that the Dhamma taught by Buddha is the answer to depression (which in the end is the ending of all suffering). The point being that anyone who has acute depression needs first aid – not taking one’s life is a prerequisite for engaging in the 8FP. As far as I understand Buddha taught us a stepped approach and used that approach when teaching the Dhamma.

Please unpack "stepped approach." The Buddha met people where they were at.
dagon wrote:It is hard to see how someone in the depths of despair (depression) would be in a position to understand the Dhamma and gain the benefits associated with that understanding. At best what is likely to be achieved is a sentimental attachment to Buddhism, not one based on philosophy and realization from within.
When you're in the depths of despair (depression) you might need something like the Dhamma to give you a reason to care to even try.

dagon wrote:If we look at the causes of the disease and with a view of compassion and metta then we are not only able to care/advise others but also assist our own development. I had been reading http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/stud ... index.html and there is much there that would help us understands the Dhamma that explains depression and the ultimate CURE.

I've read and studied this several times (I also have chronic pain). Nothing in this suggests a cure. On the contrary it's about not clinging to and letting go of irrational beliefs about cures. It's about acceptance. Suggesting that the Dhamma is an ultimate cure creates false hope.
Kindly,
dL
Last edited by danieLion on Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Coffee may lower suicide risk by 50 percent

Postby Ben » Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:13 am

danieLion wrote:Hi Ben,
Ben wrote:IMHO, the Dhamma is the long-term treatment and cure but in the short-term - perhaps a medical/therapeutic/lifestyle treatment or combination of treatments are required to get the sufferer to a point where they can either manage their depression or be able to practice Dhamma to a point where it has a positive influence on their life and the underpinning causes or triggers for their health issue.

1) Are you saying there's no Dhamma in medicine, therapy and lifestyle treatment?

2) Are you saying there's no medicine, therapy and lifestyle treatment in Dhamma?

3) Perhaps the directionality works both ways or concurrently. Perhaps practicing the Dhamma can help sufferers of depression get to the point where medicine, therapy and lifestyle treatment can help them manage their depression? Perhaps they can work side-by-side? Perhaps the Dhamma can act as a motivator, giving the sufferer a reason to even try--a crucial aspect of managing depression?

4) The Dhamma is only a "cure" in terms of dukkha-nirodha. This does not mean one never feels pain again. It means one's relationship to it has fundamentally changed. The Buddha felt pain after his awakening. I bet the Buddha got depressed after his awakening. Thinking that the Dhamma is a cure for depression just sets us for disappointment.

Kindly,
dL


My apologies Daniel, I thought I was clear.
I also think my post is consistent with what I have said in the past regarding depression, the practice of Dhamma and the health benefits of lifestyle changes.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Coffee may lower suicide risk by 50 percent

Postby Ben » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:15 pm

This is a reminder to all to remain on topic.
Off-topic posts are routinely removed from view and repeat offenders may attract moderator attention.
thank you for your cooperation.

Ben
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Re: Coffee may lower suicide risk by 50 percent

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:31 pm

Well I can think of a potentially fatal flaw to the theories of this study, while it may very well be true (I don't know) that regular coffee drinkers are less suicidal, consider the case of a suicidal person who's never drank much coffee, reading this article, convincing themselves that even though they don't really like drinking coffee they are going to start doing it to lessen their suicidal tendencies, and of course the coffee gets them way more amped up than a regular coffee drinker, the voices in their head get stronger and louder, and a life threatening situation gets even worse, just the kind of cautionary tale that should have been mentioned in the article, if it were a responsible one.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Coffee may lower suicide risk by 50 percent

Postby Ben » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:44 pm

Greetings Lyndon,

I think if someone is suicidal than that person will be best served by seeing their doctor/therapist for crisis assessment and treatment.
Where I think coffee "therapy" might be useful would be as part of a range of lifestyle options that may guard against depression - in the same way that adopting a healthy diet and exercise regime has on many 'lifestyle' diseases.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Coffee may lower suicide risk by 50 percent

Postby lyndon taylor » Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:10 am

Your dead right about the need to get professional help if your at all suicidal, Ben.

As to Coffee, coffee is like an amphetamine a kind of stimulant, albeit a lower level one, people like me can drink 10 cups a day and go right to sleep. Other people are MUCH more sensitive, and just one cup might keep them up for 12 hrs, those sensitive types aren't going to be helped by any advice to drink coffee. My guess is if caffeine is agreeable to you, you're already drinking coffee or other caffeine drinks every day, and if you're that super sensitive type, you're not drinking coffee now, and probably never will. I don't think there's any good way to encourage people to take stimulants that aren't naturally drawn to them. Tons of people I've heard of have gotten very positive effects from eliminating their caffeine intake. Do we even consider the possibility that this study was funded by the coffee industry. I smoke cigarettes, and with my manic depressive illness, as detailed in scientific studies by the AMA, cigarettes help me cope with my illness, however do I go around telling people cigarettes are good for them, no, just the opposite.

Now if this study were Orange Juice makes people 50% less suicidal, I'd say encourage everyone to do so (except maybe diabetics like me), but this is coffee we're talking about, honestly a lot of really serious Buddhists consider even caffeine an intoxicant and breaking of the 5th precept, so I think we should be careful here.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Coffee may lower suicide risk by 50 percent

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:31 am

pegembara wrote:Chocolate or coffee anyone?


Both! Mocha!

Image
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Re: Coffee may lower suicide risk by 50 percent

Postby Ben » Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:35 am

Greetings Lyndon
As to whether the study was financed by coffee producers or marketers - its usually something that gets disclosed either at the beginning or end of the article in peer-reviewed publications. Having said that, very often excellent research does get funded by vested interests such as pharmaceutical companies - it doesn't necessarily mean that because the research was privately funded that the results are biased.

As I mentioned earlier - it wasn't news to me that coffee impacts on mood. Elsewhere I have written of my experience on long retreats where I have learned from experience that the ingestion of caffeine in a retreat environment - even quite small amounts - has a significant impact on my ability to meditate. When I am not on retreat its not an issue but I become super-sensitive on retreat.

As for coffee being an intoxicant - you'll find that discussed at length in other threads.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Coffee may lower suicide risk by 50 percent

Postby lyndon taylor » Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:59 am

We have no problem Ben, we're both coffee drinkers, the point I was trying to make is alot of people are much more sensitive to stimulants than we may be, for them to drink as much coffee as you or I, might be about the stimulant effect of you or I snorting a short line of speed, so I hope you can understand why I would not want to recommend coffee drinking to those folks so sensitive to it.

This is in no way any encouragement of people to snort speed!! Or to drink coffee for that matter if you don't want to!!
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Coffee may lower suicide risk by 50 percent

Postby dagon » Sat Jul 27, 2013 2:29 am

Hi All

I think part of the problem here is that we all consider depression and associated conditions from our own personal experiences (as an individual or carer of someone with depression). In reality it can be a disease in itself or a symptom of another disease; its cause are wide and varied as is the way that it is experienced by the individual (and those close to them). Logically, the appropriate treatments also vary so generalizations come with a risk.

However, the situation where someone is suicidal the type of depression and its cause are irrelevant in the content where someone is at risk of taking their own life – the only advice can be to help that person get imitate first aid – assessment and treatment from professional with the resource back they need. Unfortunately that is not always as easy as it should be but I guess that is drifting further off topic. A cup of coffee at this point is unlikely to change much!

The only other generalization that is reasonably safe to make is that positive life style changes often help the individual both in treatment and maintenance situations. With some changes revolution maybe called for – ceasing alcohol consumption; this however should be done under medical supervision. Some changes call for evolution – such as exercise. Diet can play a big role, especial Vit B1 & B6.

As far as coffee goes (I drink way too much) there needs to be far more research than the meta-data study at Harvard and the 3 studies that provided the data to that study. The area of brain chemistry and the interaction with mood and emotion is so complicated. Are the effects direct, do they occur only in conjunction with other drugs; are the effects different for different types of depression … too many questions.

As I said before the results are interesting – the only change that they will make to what I do is that I will be more inclined to give those I care for a cup of coffee instead of encouraging them to have an alternative drink.

Regard to all
paul
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Re: Coffee may lower suicide risk by 50 percent

Postby lyndon taylor » Sat Jul 27, 2013 2:59 am

Well a wild theory just popped into my mind, and it would explain this study, This is a very non reputable article in Huffinton post, I truly doubt the actual scientific papers writers would have gone so far as to say Coffee or caffeine caused the lower suicide rates, when they have absolutely no proof; just a statistical correlation between a group with lower incidence of suicide also enjoying coffee much more. Its a chicken or egg dilemma and any reputable scientific study would make mention of this. Either caffeine causes people to be less suicidal, or being less suicidal causes you to be more likely to drink coffee.

Strong coffee drinkers are a segment of the population that is probably less sensitive to drugs than average, for instance it takes a lot of coffee to effect their sleep, if it ever does, it probably takes a lot of alcohol to get them drunk, probably takes them higher doses of street drugs to get off. Well guess what, suicidal ideations are usually caused by excesses of brain neuro transmitter chemicals, what if these same insensitive to caffeine people are less sensitive to the effects of the brains neuro transmitter drugs that lead to suicidal psychosis or depression, hence less likely to become sick enough to consider suicide.

Non caffeine drinkers on the other hand are very sensitive to even mild stimulants like coffee, 1 cup and they start talking a mile a minute, have tons of energy, and can't get to sleep if their life depended on it. These people are what druggies call light weights, people who get high off just a very small amount of drugs or alcohol. What if they are lightweights also for the brains neurotransmitters that often lead to suicidal psychosis or depression.

This would explain exactly why the study data is what it is, and prove that coffee drinking had absolutely nothing to do with lowering suicide, but rather that people that are less likely to commit suicide, happen to be more likely not to have adverse overeactions to caffeine so they drink more of it, And that that more sensitive, more likely to consider suicide people have natural tendencies to be oversensitive to caffeine and not enjoy drinking it.

Obviously if my theory were true, and it is obviously just a theory, encouraging non caffeine drinkers to drink coffee to lower their suicide risk would be quite illogical and wrong.
Last edited by lyndon taylor on Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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