Drinking Sweet Beverages associated with Increased Depression Risk

Credit: National Cancer Institute Renee Comet (Photographer) - PD

(Best Syndication News) - Researchers found that people who drank sweetened beverages had an increased risk for depression. The risk was especially elevated with those who drank diet drinks. However, people who drank coffee had a slightly reduced risk for depression. The study results will be shared at the American Academy of Neurology’s 65th Annual Meeting in San Diego, which is scheduled to be held March 16-23, 2013.

The study author, Honglei Chen, MD, PhD, a member of the American Academy of Neurology, along with the National Institutes of Health in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, explained that drinking sweetened beverages versus coffee and tea might affect mental health in addition to physical health.

To determine the risk factors for depression by the beverages a person drinks, the researchers studied 263,925 people between the ages of 50 and 71 years at the start of the study. The participants reported the beverages they drank between 1995 and 1996. Around 10 years later, the researchers surveyed the participants to see if they had been diagnosed with depression since 2000. In total, 11,311 of the participants reported depression.

A 30 percent increased risk of depression was seen in people who reported drinking four cans or cups of sweetened (diet and regular) soda daily compared to respondents who did not drink any soda. The respondents who reported drinking four cans of fruit punch daily had a 38 percent increased risk of depression compared to those who did not drink sweetened drinks. The coffee drinkers who downed four cups per day showed a 10 percent reduction in their risk factor for depression compared to the non-coffee drinkers. The researchers found the highest risk factor in those who drank diet soda, fruit punches, and iced tea compared to the regular sweetened beverages.

Chen explained that drinking unsweetened coffee might help reduce depression risk. However, more research needs to be conducted to confirm their finding. People who have depression should continue to take the doctor prescribed medications accordingly.

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter

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