Is coffee a helping hand for battling depression? - Metro US

Is coffee a helping hand for battling depression?

Could you make it out of bed without a cup of coffee in the morning?

For a study published in the latest issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers followed 50,739 women in order to establish a link between chronic coffee and caffeine consumption to the risk of death through suicide across the female population.

Within a decade, a total of 2,607 cases of clinical depression were diagnosed. The analysis showed that the regular coffee drinkers had a lowered risk of depression (around 20 per cent) than the non-drinkers. The risk was dose dependant, with the likelihood of depression dropping with each additional cup of coffee. Other sources of caffeine including tea, sodas of chocolate were not included in the study as their content was too low.

Despite the astounding results, the researchers remain cautious as to the viability of using caffeinated coffee to treat depression in the long term.

Whether you drink three cups or prefer herbal tea, for now stick to what works for you.

Asking the expert

Metro spoke with Dr. Alberto Ascherio, author of the study and professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health

How can caffeine help women from getting depressed? Does caffeine alter the brain’s chemistry?

Caffeine is known for its short term mood elevating effects. Once it gets into the brain, it can increase one’s vigilance and energy. It activates the release of mood-related neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin.

Why use only women in the study? Are they more sensitive than men to caffeine?

Women are not more sensitive to caffeine than men. However, it has been shown that they are more vulnerable to depression.

If a woman goes over the six cups a day, what are the side effects?

Caffeine is a stimulant so too much of it can lead to increased anxiety and can cause insomnia. No matter if you are male of female.

What would you say to coffee lovers that think they should quit because it’s bad for their health?

The vast majority of us drink coffee. If you’re already drinking it, then keep drinking.

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