A decade-long prospective study shows that depression risk decreases as coffee consumption increases, report Harvard researchers in the September 26 Archives of Internal Medicine. They studied coffee drinking in 50,739 women in the U.S. who had a mean age of 63 and were depression-free at baseline in 1996. They noted that while caffeine is "the world's most frequently ingested psychoactive substance," few studies have shed light on its link to depression. To assess whether a substance in coffee other than caffeine may be at the root of the association, the researchers also questioned participants about drinking decaffeinated coffee, but no relationship with depression rates was found for decaf consumption. The more caffeinated coffee the participants drank, the lower their risk of eventually developing depression.
To read about a possible link between chocolate—another widely consumed caffeine-containing treat—and depression, see Psychiatric News at http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/45/11/14.1.full.
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