Coffee the Slasher of Depression

That fresh brewed cup of morning coffee to wake us up and get us going now has another good benefit in that cup of brew.

Now it seems drinking several cups of coffee is a very good thing for it may help prevent depression in women.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health conducted one of the first of its kind to examine the long term effects of caffeine on mood disorders like depression. This study is published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Researchers had questioned 50,739 women who had participated in the Nurse’s Health Study, was a major examination of health and lifestyle.

The study had followed the health of participants from 1980 to 2002 by use of detailed questionnaires registering coffee consumption. Over that time span slightly above 2,600 had developed depression. Upon examination it was shown that more of those women had consumed little or no coffee in comparison to frequent coffee drinkers.

Long history has shown that consumption of caffeine by people does provide alertness and energy however; the effects only last till the next cup.

Dr. Alberto Ascherio, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard School along with his associates suggest that regular use of caffeine just may provide longer effects on the brain. Even though their results did not show coffee consumption having a direct effect on depression prevention for only a small link was found between coffee and mood. They have established that caffeine works by binding to receptors for brain chemicals which are linked to mood.

Past studies have determined similar effects like those who drink coffee have lower rates of suicide in comparison to those who do not consume coffee and coffee drinkers have lower depression rates.

Dr. Ascherio notes it is still unclear how caffeine may perform mood lifting effects. He further notes that their findings advocate that caffeine may provide a beneficial effect on the cellular level and may guard neurons loss to neurodegenerative disease. Research as Dr. Ascherio mentions is establishing an amount of reasonable proof that caffeine does have long term effects on the risk of depression.

Dr. Ascherio does caution just like other compounds which affect the body’s metabolism, caffeine may decrease the risk of depression by only certain amounts. At high amounts of caffeine anxiety can be increased which can actually add to depression.

For this study Dr. Ascherio notes one cup of coffee contained 137mg of caffeine and caffeine in coffee can vary. Researchers had also examined the effects of caffeine being consumed through other sources such as chocolate and tea, leading them to determine there was no association with mood from other sources. It could be due to the fact that other sources like chocolate have less caffeine than the amount in coffee.

The bottom line question, will a few cups of coffee safe guard women from depression? Dr. Ascherio believes there is not enough proof at this point to make a specific determination in changes people’s behavior at this point of time.

In conclusion Dr. Ascherio notes the amount of coffee you consume is greatly determined by how you feel. There is no guarantee that the end result of drinking coffee will be beneficial. They cannot give people a prescription to drink or not to drink caffeinated coffee.

At this time more research is required before a determination can be made on drinking caffeinated coffee does help decrease depression risk.

Rutgers study had aided in enforcing the idea that caffeine does protect against certain skin cancers at a molecular level by stopping ATR (a protein enzyme in the skin).

Bristol University Researchers had determined that coffee is a must for working women for it raises performance levels in those environments that are high pressure.

Harvard researchers discovered men who consume coffee on a regular basis have a significant decreased risk of a more aggressive form of prostate cancer.

Coffee has also been linked with decreased risk for certain kinds of breast cancer.




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