Findings published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, after a study of 50,000 female nurses in the US, concludes that women who drink two or more cups of coffee a day are less likely to get depressed. Authors believe that whilst the definitive reasons are unclear it could be that caffeine alters the brans chemistry, in this sense in a positive way.
Researchers followed the women over the period from 1996-2006. Over this period 2,600 women developed depression and more of these women tended to be non or low coffee consuming women. By contrast those who consumed 2 to 3 cups of coffee each day had a 15% decreased risk of developing depression. Those who drank 4 or more cups of coffee each day had a 20% less chance of developing depression.
It is also important to note that there were also other patterns which may also be important factors. Those women who were regular coffee drinkers also were less likely to smoke and drink alcohol, they were less overweight and didn’t have high blood pressure or diabetes.
Why Would Caffeine Affect Our Mood?
Caffeine is known to increase energy and positive emotions. We also know that it can affect the chemistry in the brain. Caffeine essentially blocks adenosine which produces a similar effect to increasing dopamine production. It is now clear that the dopamine rich areas of the brain are very important in depression. But more research is needed here so that we understand it better. It is also important to note that too much caffeine consumption has been linked with high feelings of anxiety.
What Is Caffeine In?
There is no guidance, except if you are pregnant ,on how much daily consumption of caffeine is good for you. The following may give you some guidance on where caffeine can be found and in what qualities-one 50g bar of milk chocolate for example contains about 25mg of caffeine, one mug of instant coffee contains 100 mg of caffeine, one mug of tea 75 mg.