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More coffee, less depression


For older women, the more coffee they drink, the less depression they experience. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health assure us this is true in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Of course, they took two steps back by saying it was only an observational study, but I’ll take it just the same. They say there is a possibility that coffee has a protective or preventive effect but not that there is proof of coffee’s ability to reduce depression risk.

Other studies have looked at associations between coffee drinking and depression risk. One study suggested that for young males, coffee increased depression risk. However, it is generally women who suffer from long term depression more than men with 20% of American women experiencing depression at some point in their lives. Therefore, the authors wrote the “identification of risk factors for depression among women and the development of new, preventive strategies are, therefore, a public health priority.”

Researchers gathered data on over fifty thousand women, average age 63. None of them were depressed when the study began. The questionnaire asked about their caffeine consumption from 1980 until 2004. They analyzed consumption over the period and then looked at a two year latency period. During the ten year follow up, there were 2,607 new diagnoses of depression.

They found that women who consumed two to three cups of caffeinated coffee per day were 15% less likely to develop depression. Women who drank four cups a day had a 20% lower risk than the one cup a week. The consumption of decaffeinated coffee had no impact on depression risk proving that it has no purpose at all.

“In this large prospective cohort of older women free of clinical depression or severe depressive symptoms at baseline, risk of depression decreased in a dose-dependent manner with increasing consumption of caffeinated coffee,” the study concluded.

Coffee may really be a pick-me-up in the morning. Pass the joe.

Source: Archives of Internal Medicine, MedicalNewToday

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