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Drink Up: More Coffee May Mean Lower Risk of Depression

By Bailey Mosier
 
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The National Coffee Association and The Specialty Coffee Association of America report that over 50 percent of Americans over 18 years of age drink coffee every day.

And according to annual surveys the above Coffee Associations conduct, there are over 150 million daily coffee drinkers and among those drinkers, the average consumption in the United States is 3.2 cups of coffee per day.

That may seem like a lot of coffee consumption, but according to a recently published article in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers say that women who drink four or more cups of caffeinated coffee daily seem to have a lower risk of depression long term than those who don't drink java or stop at one cup a day.

Dr. Christopher Cargile, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine said that at least, for now, this study may lessen people’s negative beliefs or fears about coffee consumption. Cargile was not associated with the study.

“Caffeine at high doses has long been associated with worsening of anxiety and other psychiatric illness, and at times this has lead to lingering concerns that it might be best to limit its use ... This (study) may lessen concerns that caffeine consumption will have a negative impact,” Dr. Cargile said.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston tracked the coffee consumption habits of almost 51,000 women, with an average age of 63 years. None of the women reported being depressed at the beginning of the study and none were on antidepressants.

Researchers found that “women who drank four cups of coffee or more a day had a 20 percent reduced risk for depression and those imbibing two to three cups daily had a 15 percent decreased risk, compared to those drinking one cup or less daily,” according to a release on the study.

"Caffeine has short-term positive effects on mood, subjective feelings of having more energy and being more awake in the short term ...

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