Doctor’s orders include coffee for women, children for men

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New findings in women and men’s health this week are being released that show a link between coffee consumption in women with lowered depression as well as fatherhood linked to lowered heart problems.

A study released yesterday announced findings that women who drink four cups of coffee a day are 20 percent less likely to become depressed than women who rarely drink coffee.

Caffeine is the world’s most widely used stimulant, with approximately 80% consumed in the form of coffee. Americans are no strangers to coffee consumption, with a daily cup of joe (or more) a part of many adult’s morning routine. While we hear about caffeine addictions and dependency, yellowing of the teeth, insomnia, and more, researchers have determined coffee may actually help alleviate depression.

The study focuses only on women, and relies on self-reporting of physician-diagnosed depression, so additional testing is necessary to draw broader conclusions. But for now it appears increasing coffee consumption may reduce depression risk in women. While women who drank 4 cups of coffee saw the greatest risk decrease, women who consumed 2-3 cups also saw a decrease in depression risk.

On the other side of the genetic spectrum, men who are concerned with heart problems may want to consider fatherhood. A recent study by AARP suggests that fathers are a little less likely to die of heart-related problems than men without children. The results of the study do not suggest a direct relationship between fatherhood and heart health. Rather, contributory factors likely play a larger role.

For instance, men who have children are likely more concerned about their overall health and ability to provide for their families. Dads may also have moms around to nag them to exercise. As a result fathers are more inclined to eat better and exercise. In addition, if one subscribes to the “survival of the fittest” theory, men who are unable to father children may be genetically predisposed to additional health risks compared to men able to bear children.

So women, doctor’s orders are to drink up. As for the men, you can look forward to a life of parenthood and lower medical bills. But in the end, let’s all cross our fingers and hope for good health and prosperity for everyone, including the caffeine lovers and haters, and the child-bearing and child-less men.

Photos from Marcelo Alves and mrhayata via Flickr

San Diego resident for over 10 years, I now call this beautiful city home. Originally from the Bay Area, I'm a California girl at heart. I love the outdoors, fitness, food, and a good craft beer (from San Diego of course).

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