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I’ll drink to that: Coffee lowers depression risk in women

Laura Donovan Contributor

Fellow ladies: Are you tired or unhappy? Perhaps a trip to Starbucks (or if you live in a cool area, a mom and pop coffee shop) will cheer you up.

A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that consistent coffee consumption is linked to a lower depression risk in females. Academics behind the venture discovered that women who have two to three cups of caffeinated java a day were 15 percent less likely to get depression over a ten-year span than those who nursed one or fewer cups each week.

“Taken together, these results reassure coffee drinkers that there seem to exist no glaringly deleterious health consequences to coffee consumption,” Dr. Seth Berkowitz wrote in an editor’s message alongside the study.

But Berkowitz and the other researchers are going to hold off on going so far as to recommend coffee to patients, as the study only shows a link between coffee and depression risk. Caffeine’s effect on depression, say the researchers, remains unclear.

One of the biggest women’s health studies in the country, the research sampled 50,000 participants for a decade and corresponds with earlier research that coffee consumption may lower suicide risk. Outside of the well-being realm, coffee also reduces the possibility of developing Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease later in life. Coffee can even help men, as it leads to a lower risk of gout.

According to MSNBC, 2,607 participants developed depression during the study’s ten-year period. Women who downed four plus cups of coffee daily were 20 percent less likely to get depression than the ladies who consumed one or fewer cups of coffee each week.

Dr. John Greden of the University of Michigan’s Comprehensive Depression told The Huffington Post that the study may not have followed the right age range of women.

“The women they studied had an average age of above 60, and most depressions start young,” Dr. Greden said. “So in a strange way, this is probably a very protected group, given the fact that none had depression at the start of the study.”

Though coffee is linked to anxiety, insomnia, and sleeping problems, it can also energize drinkers and boost productivity.

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