Drink Coffee, Decrease Depression, Study Posits Possibilities
There has been a paradigm shift about the impact of coffee on our health in the last fifteen years, moving from a liquid that once was linked to heart disease to one that potentially decreases one's risk for cancer and diabetes. Following these potential health benefits of coffee, a recent study posits the idea that those drinking at least four cups a day may face a 20% decreased risk for depression compared to those who either rarely have it or who ban the anti-oxidant drink from their diets.
The study, undertaken at the Harvard School of Public Health and recorded in the Archives of Internal Medicine by Alberto Ascherio and his team, now links the caffeine in coffee to an emotional uplift, Reuters reports. This is hardly news. Caffeine is a stimulant. Drink a cup of coffee or have a Starbucks cappuccino, as I am wont to do in the late evening, and you are wired back to your college days' all nighters.
On the other hand, according to Ascherio's remarks (see Reuters article by Julie Steenhyusen) the long term chronic use of caffeinated coffee yields more than a boost of energy and the urge to stay awake through the night (if consumed after 10 pm). It cuts depression by a measurable amount for bona fide caffeinated coffee drinkers.
The Reuters' article outlined the protocol of Ascherio's study which enrolled 50,000 nurse participants, none of whom were depressed at the time, and whose average age was 63. Dating back to 1976, the researchers calculated the participants' coffee consumption for 14 years. After classifying the nurses based upon their amount of caffeine consumption, the team monitored the group for an additional ten years and found that depression was lower in women who drank caffeinated coffee.Continued on the next page