Sweetened Drinks Linked to Depression, Coffee Tied to Lower Risk

Jan. 8, 2013 — New research suggests that drinking sweetened beverages, 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 was released January 8 and will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 65th Annual Meeting in San Diego, March 16 to 23, 2013.


 

“Sweetened beverages, coffee and tea are commonly consumed worldwide and have important physical — and may have important mental — health consequences,” said study author Honglei Chen, MD, PhD, with the National Institutes of Health in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

The study involved 263,925 people between the ages of 50 and 71 at enrollment. From 1995 to 1996, consumption of drinks such as soda, 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 soda were 30 percent more likely to develop depression than those who drank no soda. 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.

“Our research suggests that cutting out or down on sweetened diet drinks or replacing them with unsweetened coffee may naturally help lower your depression risk,” said Chen. “More research is needed to confirm these findings, and people with depression should continue to take depression medications prescribed by their doctors.”

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Cancer Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided byAmerican Academy of Neurology (AAN).

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.


American Academy of Neurology (AAN) (2013, January 8). Hold the diet soda? Sweetened drinks linked to depression, coffee tied to lower risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 12, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130108162135.htm
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How Stress and Depression Can Shrink the Brain

ScienceDaily (Aug. 12, 2012) — Major depression or chronic stress can cause the loss of brain volume, a condition that contributes to both emotional and cognitive impairment. Now a team of researchers led by Yale scientists has discovered one reason why this occurs — a single genetic switch that triggers loss of brain connections in humans and depression in animal models.

Expression of a single gene dramatically decreases synaptic connections between brain cells. Yale scientists believe this may explain why people suffering from chronic stress and depression suffer loss of brain volume (Credit: Courtesy Yale University)

 

The findings, reported in the Aug. 12 issue of the journal Nature Medicine, show that the genetic switch known as a transcription factor represses the expression of several genes that are necessary for the formation of synaptic connections between brain cells, which in turn could contribute to loss of brain mass in the prefrontal cortex.

“We wanted to test the idea that stress causes a loss of brain synapses in humans,” said senior author Ronald Duman, the Elizabeth Mears and House Jameson Professor of Psychiatry and professor of neurobiology and of pharmacology. “We show that circuits normally involved in emotion, as well as cognition, are disrupted when this single transcription factor is activated.”

The research team analyzed tissue of depressed and non-depressed patients donated from a brain bank and looked for different patterns of gene activation. The brains of patients who had been depressed exhibited lower levels of expression in genes that are required for the function and structure of brain synapses. Lead author and postdoctoral researcher H.J. Kang discovered that at least five of these genes could be regulated by a single transcription factor called GATA1. When the transcription factor was activated, rodents exhibited depressive-like symptoms, suggesting GATA1 plays a role not only in the loss of connections between neurons but also in symptoms of depression.

Duman theorizes that genetic variations in GATA1 may one day help identify people at high risk for major depression or sensitivity to stress.

“We hope that by enhancing synaptic connections, either with novel medications or behavioral therapy, we can develop more effective antidepressant therapies,” Duman said.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

Other Yale authors of the paper are Bhavya Voleti, Pawel Licznerski, Ashley Lepack, and Mounira Banasr.

 


Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided byYale University.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hyo Jung Kang, Bhavya Voleti, Tibor Hajszan, Grazyna Rajkowska, Craig A Stockmeier, Pawel Licznerski, Ashley Lepack, Mahesh S Majik, Lak Shin Jeong, Mounira Banasr, Hyeon Son, Ronald S Duman. Decreased expression of synapse-related genes and loss of synapses in major depressive disorderNature Medicine, 2012; DOI:10.1038/nm.2886

 

Citation:

Yale University (2012, August 12). How stress and depression can shrink the brain.ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 14, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120812151659.htm