Does coffee lower women's risk of depression?
A recently published study seems to indicate women who drink two to three cups of caffeinated coffee a day are 15 percent less likely to develop depression.
However, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston emphasize that the study only shows a basic association between coffee consumption and depression risk - and cannot definitively prove drinking coffee reduces the risk of depression in women.
The latest research appears to bolster previous studies touting the benefits of coffee, such as a link between moderate consumption and a reduced risk of suicide, as well as how the beverage may lower the risks of breast cancer, prostate cancer and stroke.
"Taken together, these results reassure coffee drinkers that there seem to exist no glaringly deleterious health consequences to coffee consumption," Dr. Seth Berkowitz explained.
But he pointed out that the study only showed a correlation between coffee and the risk of depression - so it is clearly premature for doctors to recommend coffee consumption to patients.
Emma Robertson-Blackmore, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center, expressed similar sentiments.
According to Robertson-Blackmore, caffeine typically makes people feel more energized, focused and put them in a better mood.
"This feeling could be reflected in the women's assessment of their mood symptoms... [As such], women should aim for a healthy balance in diet, stress reduction and exercise and be mindful of depression symptoms that require help from health professionals," she added.