Women who drink a lot of coffee are slightly less susceptible to depression. That’s the conclusion from the Nurses’ Health Study, which included more than 50,000 women for longer than two decades. The women answered questions about diet, lifestyle and health every few years. Analysis of the results showed that women who regularly drank around four cups of coffee a day were less likely to be diagnosed with depression during the study. The results did not change when the researchers considered total caffeine intake, including caffeine from soft drinks and chocolate as well as tea. No benefit was seen with decaf. The investigators suggest that the effects of caffeine on brain chemistry might help protect women from depression.
[Archives of Internal Medicine, Sept. 26, 2011]