A new study conducted at Harvard University found that women who regularly consume the caffeine in coffee are less likely to suffer from depression than those who do not.  This finding is in line with the long-recognized fact, confirmed in repeated studies at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine by Roland Griffiths, PhD, dean of U.S. caffeine researchers, that even a small dose of caffeine in the morning, the amount in about a half a cup of filter-drip coffee, can brighten a person’s mood throughout the day.

Caffeine Fights Depression

Women who drank two to three cups of coffee a day had about a 15% lower risk of developing depression during a 10-year period than women who had only one cup of coffee or less per week.  Consuming four or more cups a day reduced the risk of depression by 20%.  The lower risk of depression was not observed in women who drank decaffeinated coffee.
The study, published this month in the Archives of Internal Medicine, analyzed health data of more than 50,000 women who were part of the Nurses’ Health Study.  Researchers looked at questionnaires the women completed from 1980 to 2004 to measure caffeine consumption.  


The study’s conclusions are of widespread importance, because about one in five U.S. women will be diagnosed with depression in her lifetime.  And, although caffeine’s mood-elevating powers have been recognized for hundreds of years, Harvard’s study author Alberto Ascherio stated that this new study is the first analysis of caffeine and clinical depression in women. 
But, not only was a reduction in depression observed in those who consumed the caffeine in two cups of coffee daily, there was a 20 percent reduction in the rate of heart attacks and a 12 percent reduction in developing high blood pressure!
The new research adds to previous studies that have linked caffeine to an abundance of health benefits, such as a decreased risk of stroke, high blood pressure, heart attacks, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, senile dementia, clinical depression, Parkinson’s disease, cirrhosis of the liver, gallstones, head and neck cancer, breast cancer, liver cancer, skin cancer, and prostate cancer.

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