A recent study says that coffee, the second most popular drink in the world, has an antidepressant effect on women, if drunk in certain amounts.
90% of Americans eat or drink caffeine-based products on a daily basis. Known to temporarily improve one’s ability to learn, coffee, the beverage best known for the caffeine compound, can also help comprehension, memory, and clarity of thought. A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine adds a great health benefit to the list, one that could finally surpass tea’s fame: coffee could prevent depression in women.
According to the study, drinking two or three cups of coffee a day reduces the risk of depression in women by 15%. Four or more cups would mean a reduction of 20%. However, this is available only for plain coffee. The decal one doesn’t do much against depression.
How’s that possible? Researchers suggest that coffee acts in the cells as a defender for neurons prone to neurodegenerative disease. Up until now, coffee has been proven to play an important role in the prevention of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Scientists believe that chemicals from coffee could be used to make new drugs to treat heart disease and insomnia. Moreover, caffeine increases dopamine levels, which are responsible for one’s level of happiness.
These facts have already a good reputation for the hot dark beverage in the past, as they were presumed at some non-scientific level. Now this was studied and proven. However, the researchers are very careful with the results of their recent study, as they don’t assume that coffee directly prevents depression. What they’re certain of is that coffee does work on the mood by having an influence on the brain chemicals, but the way it does that is still somehow a mystery.
The study has been carried through questionnaires on 50,000 middle-aged women, who also drank tea, soft drinks and chocolate [other beverages containing caffeine], but those didn’t show any valuable impact on their mood, mainly because they contain less caffeine than coffee.
Still, the experts pointed out that we shouldn’t carelessly drink too much coffee. High doses lead to irritability, anxiety, tiredness, headaches and decreased energy which could all represent a start for depression. Researchers are even wary in recommending an ideal amount of coffee for everyone, since people drink various doses depending on their mood and for their personal reasons. A satisfying dose for one person may not have the same effect on somebody else.