A lot of people are struggling with their health.
Some of them may be suffering from depression, anxiety or stress.
Others may be struggling with eating habits, or are worried about their physical and mental health.
Now, a new study from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) suggests a healthy cup of coffee might help reduce stress and improve your health.
The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, was conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan, Harvard Medical School and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The study found that coffee consumption was associated with reduced anxiety and depression and improved physical and psychological health in a large, nationally representative sample of US adults aged 20-74.
The researchers say the study showed the impact of coffee on health could be particularly important in the workplace where the impact can be even more pronounced.
“We are talking about people in the office, in the hospital and in our homes,” said Dr. Rachael Lohr, a co-author of the study and a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the University at Buffalo.
“I think we have to think about this with more urgency.”
The study focused on people in different types of workplaces in the United States, as well as people who worked in manufacturing and service industries.
Researchers used the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to examine the associations between coffee consumption and anxiety and depressive symptoms in more than 12,000 US adults.
The BRFSS collects data from employers and workers on a daily basis, and has tracked people for more than 80 years.
Dr. Lohrs co-authors are John P. Cavanagh, M.D., a professor at Harvard Medical College; Joseph J. Nisbett, Ph.
D. of the Harvard School of Education; and Jennifer A. McFarland, Ph, MPH, of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP).
The BRFs study has been conducted at a scale of more than 500,000 workers in the US, who were randomly assigned to two groups: those who received a daily cup of caffeinated coffee, or those who were not.
After a period of four weeks, researchers assessed participants’ health and stress levels using a self-report questionnaire and the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC).
Participants who consumed more than four cups of caffeined coffee per day had significantly lower levels of anxiety, depression, and physical health symptoms than those who did not.
This was the case regardless of age, gender, race, educational attainment, marital status, physical activity, or tobacco use.
The findings were consistent for the four cups consumed per day group.
However, the researchers found that the relationship between coffee and stress was not as clear-cut in younger adults.
“If you have a lot of coffee, you tend to be stressed,” said co-lead author Dr. Cavancourt.
“There’s less of a relationship in older adults.”
In fact, coffee consumption is associated with a reduced risk of stress and depression in older people, the study authors note.
Dr Cavanag said the findings highlight the need for a wider range of coffee drinks and a better understanding of the different types that are available.
“Coffee is a key part of our daily life,” he said.
“The health impacts are profound and can be a cause of stress, anxiety, and depression.”
For the study, the team used the BRFBS data to look at the association between coffee intake and depression, including those with and without depression.
The researchers then looked at whether the association was mediated by stress or anxiety.
They found that caffeine consumption was related to a reduced number of depressive symptoms, but not a higher number of depression symptoms.
“The findings suggest that people with more coffee may have less symptoms of depression,” Dr Cavanaga said.
“What that means is that people who are in the middle of a stressful situation may be having more of a negative impact on their health than those people in other situations.”
Dr. Cavellas team is also looking at the impact on mental health, including the impact the coffee and other caffeinated beverages may have on the brain.
The next step will be to continue the study to look into the effects of coffee and caffeine on different aspects of mental health and how they might affect people who work in the healthcare field.