Women, The Negatives of Caffeine Outweigh Any Benefits - Page 2
So what about the findings in the study? Dig beneath the headlines and you’ll see that the study found only a relatively small reduction in the incidence of depression in the group of women studied (15% in women who drank two to three cups of a day and 20% in those who drank four or more cups of coffee a day). The authors themselves state that they don’t know how or why coffee might affect depression, that there is no guarantee that drinking coffee has a beneficial effect in the long term and that too much coffee can actually contribute to depression.
At best, the study suggests a possible association rather than a clear cause and effect.
It may be that the women in the study (chosen because they didn’t have depression at the outset) were less likely to succumb to depression anyway - regardless of whether they drank coffee or not. Or perhaps the reason that slightly fewer of them than you might expect succumbed to depression over the period was not due to the coffee they drank. There are many variables which affect susceptibility to depression, including affluence, working conditions, family relationships, diet and lifestyle, even genetics.
Depression is a debilitating problem and a growing problem in society. We know that women are more likely to be affected than men, probably due to our brain chemistry and lower levels of serotonin, the brain’s feelgood chemical, as well as the challenges women face in their lives.
It would be wonderful if coffee were actually able to ward off depression, rather than being just a short-term fix, with significant downsides. More scientific research is clearly needed. But in the meantime, this study has not changed my mind about whether coffee is a good thing for women or not. It’s not.