Be Happy, Feel Beautiful
Are you one of those girls who needs her morning cup (who am I kidding…two or three…or four cups) of coffee to feel alive in the morning? Well good news, my highly caffeinated Belles, you may be at a lower risk of depression compared to other people who don’t get a regular stimulated jolt every day.
According to a study done at the Harvard School of Public Health, women who drink coffee have a 20 percent lower risk of becoming depressed than women who don’t drink it. This study is the most comprehensive of its kind and followed 51,000 women for 10 years to study the effects of coffee on individuals. According to the study, with each cup of coffee the participants consumed, the likelihood of depression development decreased. Women who gulped down at least four cups were at the lowest risk.
Researchers haven’t confirmed details as to why the caffeine in coffee decreases depression. They suspect it has something to do with the brain altering effects of caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that activates certain parts of the brain. The parts of the brain affected release certain mood altering neurotransmitters.
The most commonly known mood-altering neurotransmitters are dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitter are released when the brain recognizes the caffeine from coffee.
The one aspect the study did not discover is why caffeine has these long-term effects on depression. The short-term effects are obvious. Caffeine makes us more alert, gives us energy, and has the ability to boost our moods.
There are many pros and cons relating to caffeine. In an article on CNN.com, For Women, Risk of Depression Falls As Coffee Intake Rises, Dr. Daniel Evatt warned coffee lovers to use moderation. “We shouldn’t put caffeine in too positive a light,” Evatt said. “I don’t want to pin it as a public health problem, but people can become dependent on coffee and have troubling withdrawal symptoms.”
Evatt agrees with the fact that caffeine and depression are linked, but he doesn’t want people to believe that caffeine will cure depression because that is not the point of the study. Caffeine is technically a drug that has addictive qualities, so moderation is key.
Don’t feel bad if you need that extra cup of steamy goodness. Brew your favorite blend and sip blissfully, Belles!