We’ve talked about how coffee in the office is the one perk companies should splurge on to keep workers happy. Now there’s more scientific evidence to back this up.In a new study, Harvard researchers found that women who drink at least one cup of coffee per day reduce their risk of depression (via NPR). They looked at how much caffeine 50,000 women consumed (80% of which came from coffee) over the course of a decade, and found that those who drank less caffeine had a higher risk of depression and antidepressant use.
On the flip side, researchers also found that women who had two to three cups a day reduced their risk of depression by 15%, and those who had four cups, by 20%.
Our results suggest that caffeine may have a beneficial effect on the cellular level, and may protect neurons lost to neurodegenerative disease. We are establishing a certain degree of reasonable evidence that caffeine has a long-term effect on the risk of depression, but we cannot attribute this to any pathology.
Coffee is already proven to increase alertness, memory and concentration — so it would be no surprise if this is more than a simple correlation.
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