This week…we told you about a beverage that can slow weight gain. Today…we look at another drink…one that combats depression.
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health recently found that the drink cuts the risk of depression for women. That comes off the tails of another study…which showed that the drink also reduces depression in men.
The new study brings hope for those dealing with dark times. Depression can be chronic…and reoccurring.
“Identification of risk factors for depression among women and the development of new preventative strategies are, therefore, a public health priority,” says Michel Lucas, Ph.D., R.D.
Dr. Lucas is a research fellow at Harvard in the Department of Nutrition…and he’s published many studies in the last decade on depression.
His latest study investigates whether one specific drink can reduce your risk of depression. His results were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
“Studies that analyze the relationship between (the drink) and depression risk are scarce,” says Dr. Lucas. “We found that depression risk decreases with increased (the drink) consumption.”
Now other doctors have reviewed his findings…and have their own opinions.
One is Dr. Seth A. Berkowitz. He received his medical degree from UNC-Chapel Hill. He’s now a resident at UCSF Medical Center.
“This study makes an important contribution,” he says. “To my knowledge, (it is) the first large-scale study on (the drink) to evaluate a mental health outcome in women.”
Continue reading…as we reveal the drink…and the study that proves it works. We’ll also tell you how much you need to drink to decrease your risk of depression.
Brewing Up Strong Evidence
The drink that Dr. Lucas was looking at was coffee. But it had to be caffeinated.
He tested this drink out in his study.
He took 50,739 U.S. women. And looked at them for over 30 years. They had an average age of 63.
At the start of the study he measured their coffee consumption with questionnaires. He also noted that none of the test subjects were depressed…by his definition. And Dr. Lucas had specific ways of defining if a patient had depression. To meet his definition… patients had to be newly clinically diagnosed with depression…and also regularly taking antidepressants.
The study had a 10-year follow-up. During that time…Dr. Lucas found 2,607 new cases of depression.
So he looked at how much caffeinated coffee each woman was drinking…and how that relates to depression.
He compared women who drank two to three cups per day…and those who drank one cup or less each week. There was a 15 percent drop in depression risk…when comparing the first group to the second.
Those drinking four or more cups per day…had a 20 percent decrease in depression risk.
“Risk of depression decreased in a dose-dependent manner with increasing consumption of caffeinated coffee,” says Dr. Lucas.
More Than Just a Drink
Caffeine is the number one central nervous system stimulant in the world. About 80 percent of that is consumed from coffee.
The study recommends four cups a day as the most effective amount…to avoid depression. Decaffeinated coffee had no effect on depression risk.
It’s best to drink your coffee black…without adding sugar or milk. If you can’t tolerate it…there are a few natural ways to alter your morning brew. Honey is one option as a sweetener…and you could use almond milk as a creamer. But it’s always best to use both in moderation.
Depression isn’t the only thing coffee is good for. We also reported that it can reduce prostate cancer by 60 percent.
The newest research on coffee shows it has many health benefits. We’ll keep you up to date on any new studies.
To your best health,
Managing Editor, NHD “Health Watch”