A recent study from the Archives of Internal Medicine suggests that drinking four to six cups of caffeinated coffee a day could cut the risk of depression in women by 20 percent. But why, exactly? We went straight to the source for answers: 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 brains chemistry?

Caffeine is known for its short term mood elevating effects. Once it gets into the brain and 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 as 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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