Caffeine is one of the most regularly used central nervous system stimulant and coffee intake accounts for nearly 75 percent of caffeine use.
Researcher Alberto Ascherio said that when people drink coffee, it improves their energy and improves their well-being. To arrive at the conclusion, the team of researchers studied more than 50, 000 women who joined the health study of nurses program. The average age of women who enrolled in the program was 63 and all women who joined the program were not depressed.
The researchers classified women based on their coffee consumption since 1976. After the initial classification was complete, the women were further classified based on the coffee they drank in next 10 years.
Ascherio said that women who drank at least 4 cups of coffee in day had 20 percent less risk of developing depression when compared to women who did not drink coffee.
Even though the main focus of the team was to find the affects of coffee on people, the team also looked at the affects of other caffeinated products like chocolate and soft drinks on people. The researchers found that women who drank coffee were at 20 percent lower risk of developing depression when compared to women who did not consume any caffeinated products.
To make the study more authentic, the team had a two-year gap between the assessment of depression and their coffee consumption. This latency period was to ensure that they were not studying women who drink coffee because they were too depressed.
According to Ascherio, there were only a few studies that looked at positive long-term affects of coffee. Earlier a study was done to show that men who drank coffee were less likely to commit suicide.
Ascherio team also conducted a study that showed that drinking coffee can protect people against Parkinson’s disease.
However, the researchers were not able to tell how coffee can protect people from depression. According to researchers, the receptors that respond to caffeine are found in basal ganglia and it is an important area for both Parkinson’s disease and depression.
Ascherio stressed that intake of caffeine may not necessarily lower depression risk but can protect people from depression. He also added that more studies should be conducted to study the affects of coffee.