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Coffee may improve mood: study

Coffee farmerAn examination of the effects of coffee on peoples’ moods have found that it may have an overall positive effect.

The review of existing research into the matter was completed by Dr Géraldine Coppin from the University of Geneva and Swiss Center for Affective Sciences and published by the industry-sponsored Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee.

“Current research into this area suggests some interesting findings, not only within a healthy population, but also in subjects with depression,” Coppin writes.

According to Coppin’s review: “Research has suggested that the repeated intake of 75 milligrams of caffeine (the equivalent of approximately one cup of coffee) every four hours confirmed a pattern of sustained improvement of mood over the day. Low to moderate doses of caffeine (around two to five cups of coffee per day) might improve hedonic tone (the degree of pleasantness or unpleasantness associated with a given state) and reduce anxiety.”

It’s not all good news though, as high doses “could increase tension, nervousness, anxiety, and jitteriness,” Coppin writes. “Extensive research on caffeine intake has been associated with a range of reversible physiological effects at both lower and higher levels of intake, suggesting that caffeine intake has no significant or lasting effect on physiological health.”

Interestingly, Coppin also writes that:” Research suggests that caffeine can help limit depression and improve alertness and attention5. For example, a 2016 meta-analysis accounting for a total of 346,913 individuals and 8,146 cases of depression considered a dose-response analysis and saw a J-shaped curve, with the beneficial effect reported for up to approximately 300 milligrams caffeine (the equivalent of approximately four cups of coffee) per day.”

Coppin is a senior researcher and lecturer in affective psychology at the University of Geneva and at the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, where she studies the psychology and neurosciences of chemosensory perception and food intake. Her research includes the investigation of behavioural and neural correlates of food preferences and choices in healthy individuals as well as in clinical populations.

The findings of the review have also been made into an animated video, which can be found here

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