Can’t start your day without a few cups of Joe? That might not be such a bad thing: Frequent coffee drinkers have a 53 percent lower risk of suicide than people who don’t drink it at all, according to new research published inThe World Journal of Biological Psychiatry. 

In the study, researchers looked at the coffee-drinking habits of more than 200,000 people and compared them against the participants’ causes of death. The result: People who drank two to three cups of regular coffee a day had a 45 lower risk of dying from suicide, and those who drank four or more cups of coffee per day had a 53 percent lower risk. 

Why? Researchers suspect coffee’s high caffeine content has something to do with it (they didn’t see the same effect in decaf drinkers). Since caffeine has an anti-depressive quality, it may increase the effects of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin in your brain, helping to ward off depression and, in extreme cases, suicide, says study coauthor Alberto Ascherio, professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health

The thing is, more caffeine isn’t necessarily better. The added benefit of having more than two or three cups a day is minor, says Ascherio, so there’s no need to guzzle coffee all day. But if you do feel tempted to grab another cup—particularly if it’s early in the day and won’t affect your ability to fall asleep at night—consider this your green light to go for it.

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