New research suggests that drinking sweetened
beverages, especially diet drinks, is associated
with an increased risk of depression in adults while
drinking coffee was tied to a slightly lower risk.
The study was released today and will be presented
at the American Academy of Neurology’s 65th Annual
Meeting in San Diego, March 16 to 23, 2013.
“Sweetened beverages, coffee and tea are commonly
consumed worldwide and have important physical—and
may have important mental—health consequences,” said
study author Honglei Chen, MD, PhD, with the
National Institutes of Health in Research Triangle
Park in North Carolina and a member of the American
Academy of Neurology.
The study involved 263,925 people between the ages
of 50 and 71 at enrollment. From 1995 to 1996,
consumption of drinks such as soda, tea, fruit punch
and coffee was evaluated. About 10 years later,
researchers asked the participants whether they had
been diagnosed with depression since the year 2000.
A total of 11,311 depression diagnoses were made.
People who drank more than four cans or cups per day
of soda were 30 percent more likely to develop
depression than those who drank no soda.
Those who drank four cans of fruit punch per day
were about 38 percent more likely to develop
depression than those who did not drink sweetened
People who drank four cups of coffee per day were
about 10 percent less likely to develop depression
than those who drank no coffee.
The risk appeared to be greater for people who drank
diet than regular soda, diet than regular fruit
punches and for diet than regular iced tea.
“Our research suggests that cutting out or down on
sweetened diet drinks or replacing them with
unsweetened coffee may naturally help lower your
depression risk,” said Chen. “More research is
needed to confirm these findings, and people with
depression should continue to take depression
medications prescribed by their doctors.”
The study was supported by the National Institutes
of Health, the National Institute of Environmental
Health Sciences and the National Cancer Institute.
For more information
American Academy of Neurology