New research suggests that drinking fruit punch and soft drinks, especially diet drinks, is associated with an increased risk of depression in adults while drinking coffee was tied to a slightly lower risk. The study will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 65th Annual Meeting in San Diego in March 2013.
The study involved 263,925 people between the ages of 50 and 71 at enrollment. From 1995 to 1996, consumption of drinks such as soft drinks, tea, fruit punch and coffee was evaluated. About 10 years later, researchers asked the participants whether they had been diagnosed with depression since the year 2000. A total of 11,311 depression diagnoses were made.
People who drank more than four cans or cups per day of soft drinks were 30 percent more likely to develop depression than those who drank none. Those who drank four cans of fruit punch per day were about 38 percent more likely to develop depression than those who did not drink sweetened drinks.
People who drank four cups of coffee per day were about 10 percent less likely to develop depression than those who drank no coffee.
The risk appeared to be greater for people who drank diet than regular soda, diet than regular fruit punches and for diet than regular iced tea.
The research suggests that cutting out or down on soften drinks - diet and regular - or replacing them with unsweetened coffee may naturally help lower your depression risk. The researchers said "More research is needed to confirm these findings, and people with depression should continue to take depression medications prescribed by their doctors."
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