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Coffee linked to lower depression risk

October 18, 2011 By Christine O'Brien 

I’m a big fan of coffee.

With a hot cup of joe in my hands, I can take on anything the day throws my way. It’s definitely up there on my list of “best ways to start the morning.”

But could drinking coffee actually be benefiting my mental health?

According to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine…it could be.

In the study, 50,739 women who had no depressive symptoms answered questionnaires from 1996 to 2006. These questionnaires tracked their coffee consumption and any diagnosis of depression or prescriptions for antidepressants.

The women also tracked other factors including weight, hormone use, exercise level, whether or not they smoked, and other general depression risk factors.

When all was said and done, the women who drank caffeinated coffee on a regular basis came out with a 20 percent lower risk of depression than women who had only one cup or fewer per week. Decaf showed no association with depression risk.

This mirrors earlier studies, which found that drinking coffee was associated with a lower risk of suicide.

It is, however, the first large-scale study to explore links between coffee drinking and mental health. The researchers aren’t outright recommending women start drinking more coffee until they conduct more studies, but if you ask me it’s part of a pretty strong case for coffee drinking.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve told you about studies showing coffee consumption can help lower the risk for diabetes, brain tumors, and (this one’s for the men!) prostate cancer.

So…this alone might not be “grounds” to start brewing, but in combination with everything else you can find in our archive at, there are quite a few reasons to grab a mug!