Caffeine- A Yes or No for Depression?

The most anticipated question is finally here! Does caffeine reduce depression? Before searching for that answer, let us see what caffeine is exactly and what is its role in depression.

Caffeine is an alkaloid compound which is found mainly in tea and coffee plants. It stimulates the central nervous system when consumed. The caffeine has an ability to block the brain signaling molecule called adenosine. This in turn causes an increase in other signaling molecules like dopamine and norepinephrine. The above-mentioned change in the brain messaging benefits the mood and brain function of the person and makes the person more alert. It even reduces the risk of suicide as well as depression in people.

Let us back up the above information with some research facts:

Researchers found in an analysis of 12 studies of almost 350,000 individuals and 8,000 cases of depression that the caffeine, particularly in coffee, had a protective effect against depression.

Another research in China showed that for every cup of coffee people drank, they reduced the risk of getting depression by 8 percent.

The Harvard researchers studied a 10 years’ worth of data from 51,000 women who did not have any depression at all. The consequences of this exploration demonstrated that the women who drank in any event at least some espresso every day were 20 percent less likely to get misery that those ladies who drank an almost no espresso by any means. But how exactly does caffeine stop depression? The answer lies in its anti-inflammatory properties. The coffee contains many acids such as the chlorogenic acid, the ferulic acid and the caffeic acid. All of these acids reduce the inflammation of nerve cells which are responsible of bringing depression. In addition to all of this, the caffeine also has antioxidant properties. They help in soothing the inflamed areas of the brain.

On a side note, the intake of caffeine could also reduce the risk brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It also boosts long term memory and even enhance thinking skills.


Don’t rush to get yourself a cup of coffee after reading this because we are not done yet. Just like how a coin has two sides to it, this story of caffeine too has another darker side.

Though caffeine has all the good effects on the body and the mental health of the person as stated above, there lingers a chance that you might actually drink too much of coffee. And the consequences of that might not be too good.

Some of the side effects of excessive intake of caffeine include anxiety, headaches, and restlessness. There might be an increase in blood pressure too. Moreover, if the body experiences the above-mentioned side effects too often, there is a possibility that the inflammation which contributes to depression could be triggered. When the effect of caffeine goes away, such people might feel a drop in their mood. Sadly, people who are already depressed would feel those after-effects of caffeine more strongly. 

So, the next time you go for coffee, make sure you are not crossing your limits.