Coffee Consumption Linked With Decreased Risk for Depression

Posted by: drchasrani on: June 16, 2012

People have often worried that drinking caffeinated coffee might have a bad effect on their health, but there is more and more literature, including this study, showing that caffeine may not have the detrimental effect previously thought. Caffeine has an impact on the brain and on serotonin, which has been associated with depression. Risk for depression may decrease as coffee consumption increases, new research suggests.                                                                           Team@CMHF

In a 10-year cohort study of more than 50,000 older women, investigators found that compared with those who drank 1 cup or less of caffeinated coffee per week, those who drank 2 to 3 cups per day had a 15% decreased risk for depression, and those who drank 4 cups or more had a 20% decreased risk.

“If depressed patients are refraining themselves to 1 coffee per day because they think that’s all they should have, why not try suggesting they drink more, as long as it doesn’t go over 4 cups a day? We still need a large randomized controlled trial to look at this effect, but as long as it’s not over a certain amount, upping the intake shouldn’t hurt, and may be helpful.”

“Caffeine is the world’s most widely used central nervous system stimulant, with approximately 80% consumed in the form of coffee, ” write the researchers.

They note that although few prospective studies have looked at the link between coffee consumption and depression, a few cohort studies have found a “strong inverse association” between coffee consumption and suicide.

However, a study from Finland found that although the risk for suicide decreased progressively for those consuming up to 7 cups of coffee per day, the risk started increasing when consumption went over 8 cups a day.

Decaffeinated coffee, caffeinated tea, sugared soft drinks, and chocolate were not significantly associated with depression risk.

“As clinicians we want to make sure that people aren’t doing things that will have them come to harm. And we’re looking for things that we may be able to add that can be of benefit. I think in this case, this study adds to the body of evidence that there isn’t much harm in coffee consumption. But I don’t think we’re at the point where we can say, ‘drink coffee so you won’t get depressed,’ because that’s not how the study was designed,” researcher said.



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