Depression is a chronic andrecurrent condition that affects twice as many women as men, includingapproximately one of every five U.S. women during their lifetime. Loss ofproductive work hours has become a significant problem in the workplace makingthe development of strategies to prevent the debilitating condition a priorityfor research scientists.
The result of a peer-reviewedjournal study publishedin the Archives of Internal Medicineexplains that consumption of caffeinated coffee can reduce the symptoms ofdepression in women in a dose dependent manner. This is an important finding becausecoffee is a popular beverage already consumed by many. Just three to four cupsof java each day may just help lift your spirits and improve feelings ofmelancholy.
Four Cups of Coffee Consumed Daily Found to Lower Depression Symptom by20%
The authors of the study notedthat 80% of worldwide caffeine consumption is in the form of coffee, the mostcommonly used CNS (central nervous system) stimulant. The research leader, Dr.Michel Lucas and his team set out to determine if the consumption of coffee or otherdrinks containing caffeine might be linked to depression risk. To conduct the study theygathered data on 50,737 women with an average age 63 years. It was determinedthat none of them had depression when the study began.
The participants were part of theNurses' Health Study and were asked to complete a detailed questionnairedetailing their caffeine and coffee consumption over a 24 year period. Theresearchers determined how often they consumed caffeinated and non-caffeinatedcoffee, non-herbal teas, caffeinated sodas (sugared or low calorie) and alltypes of caffeine-free soft drinks as well as chocolate intake. For the purposeof this study, depressionwas defined as having a diagnosis of clinical depression and being prescribedregular antidepressants during the previous two years.
Coffee Found to Lower Depression in Women in a Dose Dependent Manner
During the course of the studyanalysis, 2,607 new cases of depression were recorded among the participants.From the data collected, researchers found that women who consumed two to threecups of caffeinated coffee per day were 15% less likely to develop depressioncompared to those who drank a maximum of one cup of caffeinated coffee perweek. Further they determined women who drank at least 4 cups per day had a 20%lower risk than the females consuming only one cup per day.
Interestingly, the consumption ofdecaffeinated coffee had no impact on depression risk, an indicator that asynergistic link exists between chemical compounds in coffee and caffeine toproduce the risk-lowering effect. Study authors concluded "In this large prospective cohort of older women free of clinicaldepression or severe depressive symptoms at baseline, risk of depressiondecreased in a dose-dependent manner with increasing consumption of caffeinatedcoffee." Drinking two to four cups daily of a caffeinated coffeebeverage may provide significant depression-lowering benefits in women.