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The Coffee And Depression Connection
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The Coffee And Depression Connection

Coffee has been on a merry go ‘round of medical articles- falling in and out of favor with health care experts, accused of causing diabetes one year only to be thought to improve it the next. A new study is linking moderate coffee consumption to a lowered risk of depression in women which might be promising news to the thousands that are diagnosed with depression every year. The study performed by the Harvard School of Public Health, is not only one of the first, it is also one of the largest of its kind.

The study echoes the findings of a smaller, earlier study which looked at the correlation between moderate coffee consumption and suicide risk which was found to be lower in the coffee drinkers versus the non coffee drinkers. Other studies have also suggested a link between coffee drinking and a decreased risk of breast cancer, stroke and the risk of prostate cancer in men.

Using data pulled from surveys filled out by over fifty thousand women in the US, the researchers correlated new depression diagnosis and coffee consumption. The average age for the women was 63 and all participated in the study for ten years. Surveys concerning caffeine consumption in all forms was completed in the years from 1980-2004. in the years from 1996-2006, the women were asked to fill out secondary surveys related to new depression diagnosis. None of the women had been diagnosed with depression before the surveys or study began.

The study considered the women depressed if they had been diagnosed by a doctor and were taking prescription medications. Over the ten year span, over 2500 new cases of depression were diagnosed with the researchers finding the coffee drinkers to be twenty percent less likely to be in that group than those who reported only drinking one cup of coffee per week or less.

Other studies showing the benefit of coffee has included an early 2011 study that linked slightly higher consumption of coffee with a dramatically decreased risk of diabetes because a specific protein in the coffee binds with the sex hormones in the body that may play a definite role in the development of the condition. In that study, drinking more than four cups of coffee every day equalled a fifty percent or more reduction in the incidence of new diabetes diagnoses. Both estrogen and testosterone are thought to play a role in diabetes in adults.

Coffee may also act on estrogen to prevent the development of a particular type of breast cancer but doctors warn that other factors influence the risk of that and other types of cancer. Those risk factors include age, weight and overall health status at the time of diagnosis. It can also include how often certain tests such as mammograms are done as well.

While the results of the studies are encouraging, there will be further tests that are performed to establish a clear link between the beverage and these conditions as well as other tests to isolate the beneficial ingredient.


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  about 7 years ago
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