Coffee Might Help You Avoid Depression And Memory Loss, Making The Drink's Health Benefits Even More Extensive

ROME - JULY 09: A smiley face and heart adorns the froth of a cappucino reflecting the romance of Rome on July 9, 2009 in Rome, Italy. With nearly 3000 years of history Rome continues to live up to its motto of The Eternal City for being one of the founding cities of Western Civilisation. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Source: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The health benefits of coffee have been present in the news for ages now, but coffee may have a host of mental health benefits that we didn't see coming. New research has found that coffee might help you manage stress, avoid depression, and deal with memory loss. These results came from a study conducted by researchers from the U.S., Brazil, and Portugal; while the research was conducted using mice, and therefore needs to be replicated in humans before we can say for certain whether the findings hold up, it's still worth a look.

The study used two groups of mice: Those who were given caffeine in their water and those who drank water without the added substance. Then, both groups were subjected to stressful situations after three weeks of drinking either water with or without caffeine, which included having their cages tilted, being deprived of food and water (oh, my heart hurts for those poor mice), and receiving cold baths. What they found was that the mice who were given caffeine were better able to handle the stressful situations than their water-drinking counterparts. In fact, the mice who were not given caffeine experienced brain changes due to the stress they experienced. So, if these results are able to replicated with humans, then it seems that caffeine might help you deal with stressful situations in your own life.

Rodrigo Cunha, an associate professor at the University of Coimbra, explained how this process works to ABC News Australia. “What caffeine is doing is not making the system work better; what caffeine is doing is avoiding the system going into the wrong way of working. So it’s a prevention of a deterioration rather than an improvement.” Furthermore, the caffeine the mice were given blocked the stress-related neurotransmitter adenosine, which has been associated with memory loss to ABC News Australia, "What caffeine is doing is not making the system work better; what caffeine is doing is avoiding the system going into the wrong way of working," he commented. This means that caffeine can't be used to improve your memory now, but as a form of preventing loosing memory in the first place. 

But, the fact that this study was conducted on mice cannot be ignored; trials using human subjects would need to be conducted in order to see how exactly this could work for people. Future experiments will need to be done in order to fully understand the relationship between stress and caffeine, as well. 

The researchers commented in their report that the link between these two established by their study is still only casual, since the mice didn't have extensive interaction with each other after these stress-related situations occurred. Hopefully, further trials are conducted sooner rather than later though, since stress can lead to a whole host of diseases and problems like insomnia and mental illness. Stress is also a concern to many Americans, as the American Psychological Association reported that a third of us talk to our healthcare providers about the problem.

However, it's also important to mention that stress is a completely normal human emotion and reaction to duress that we experience in our lives. Everyone experiences stress from time to time but if you feel that the problem is becoming unnamable, make sure to consult your doctor about your stress to make sure it's not impeding on your quality of life.

Images: Giphy (2)

Must Reads