Coffee linked to reduced depression risk

A photo of a cup of coffee.

Image via Wikipedia

A recent study frequented several headlines and teleprompters this week. Its claim: Chronic coffee consumption may ward off depression in women. Though the work is one step in understanding caffeine’s effect on mental health, there’s reason to be cautious before reaching for that extra cup of joe. The authors point out the research’s limitations and view the work as a place to launch more controlled studies on the topic, not to make recommendations to drink more coffee.

The analysis, which focused on 50,739 female nurses (average age of 63) in the Nurses’ Health Study, relied on self-reports of coffee and caffeine consumption in other drinks and foods. Researchers began tracking the group in 1996 and stopped in 2006. Before 1996, scientists made sure to include only women without depression or a history of it. Depression was defined as a clinical diagnosis and use of antidepressants. The researchers also had access to a variety of data, including the participants’ smoking status, exercise  habits, diet and other socioeconomic factors.

Women who drank more than four cups of coffee per day had one-fifth less of a risk of experiencing depression than women who consumed less than one cup per week. Those drinking two to three cups per day also had less of a risk — 15 percent or so less. Depression poses challenges for men, too, but more women experience the condition each year in the United States, which is why the study still proves useful. Even if coffee lacks a special compound that lowers a woman’s risk of experiencing depression, the findings still demonstrate the type of people who might be more drawn to the beverage. For more information check out the full article here. For a free P.A. life insurance quote visit our website today http://www.kimberleyvassal.com

 

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