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Study Finds Coffee May Decrease Risk of Depression in Women

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Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 1:26 PM

click to enlarge cappucino - LA WEEKLY FLICKR POOL/RE

Time to throw out the Prozac and buy some more Ethiopian Yrgecheffe instead. According to a report in yesterday's Archives of Internal Medicine, increased consumption of caffeinated coffee appears to decrease the risk of depression in women. Which is kind of glorious news, if you think about it. Would you rather spend your time and money on therapy and antidepressants or on trips to Intelligentsia? Exactly.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, and other colleagues studied over 50,000 American women with an average age of 63 and no history of depression for a ten-year period. They measured caffeine consumption in the previous 12 month span, including caffeinated and non-caffeinated teas and coffees, soft drinks and chocolate. The study found that women who consumed four or more cups of caffeinated coffee per day had a 20% decrease in relative risk of depression.

The study considered women rather than men because depression, a chronic and recurrent condition, affects twice as many women as men, including approximately 1 in 5 American women. "Risk of depression decreased in a dose-dependent manner with increased consumption of caffeine," the authors of the study wrote.

The authors were quick to point out that the study doesn't prove that caffeine or coffee reduces the risk of depression, but that it "suggests the possibility of such a protective effect." There was no correlation found between decaf and depression risk. Well, unless you consider how depressing a cup of bad decaf coffee truly is. Ladies, start your La Marzoccos.

Disclaimer: If you really need your meds, please take them. Just because Intelligentsia looks like a meth lab, does not mean that you can chug shots of espresso instead of popping the Wellbutrin that somebody probably prescribed for a very good reason.

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