Is your morning cuppa actually keeping depression at bay? A study has linked increased caffeine intake, particularly coffee, with decreased risk of women developing depression of as much as 20%, backing up previous research on caffeine.
A great excuse for a Starbucks run, surely?
An article in the Archives of Internal Medicine quotes a study where women who consumed two to three cups per day had a 15% decrease in relative risk for depression, and those consuming four cups or more per day had a 20% decrease in relative risk.
Compared with women in the lowest (less than 100mg per day) categories of caffeine consumption, those in the highest category (550mg per day or more) had a 20% decrease in relative risk of depression. As much as 80% of this caffeine was from cups of coffee.
Case studies were followed for 10 years and had no depression at the start of the study in 1996.
Caffeine is the most frequently used central nervous system stimulant in the world, found in coffee, tea and sugary soft drinks.
"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 report said.
But they admit the study "cannot prove that caffeine or caffeinated coffee reduces the risk of depression but only suggests the possibility of such a protective effect” - so are recommending further research to clarify.