Tea consumption and the risk of depression: a meta-analysis of observational studies

Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2015 Apr;49(4):334-45. doi: 10.1177/0004867414567759. Epub 2015 Feb 5.


Objective: Whether tea consumption decreases the risk of depression remains controversial. We performed a meta-analysis of findings from observational studies to evaluate the association between tea consumption and depression risk.

Method: Embase, PubMed, and Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure databases were searched from their inception through August 2014 for observational studies that had reported the association between tea consumption and depression risk. We used a fixed effects model when heterogeneity was negligible and a random effect model when heterogeneity was significant to calculate the summary relative risk estimates (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results: Eleven studies with 13 reports were eligible for inclusion in the meta-analysis (22,817 participants with 4,743 cases of depression). Compared to individuals with lower tea consumption, those with higher tea consumption had a pooled RR of depression risk at 0.69 (95% CI: 0.63-0.75). Eight reports were included in the dose-response analysis of tea consumption and depression risk (10,600 participants with 2,107 cases). There was a linear association between tea consumption and the risk of depression, with an increment of 3 cups/day in tea consumption associated with a decrease in the risk of depression of 37% (RR = 0.63, 95% CI: 0.55-0.71).

Conclusion: Tea consumption is associated with a decreased risk of depression.

Keywords: depression; depressive symptom; meta-analysis; tea consumption.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • China / epidemiology
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drinking Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Risk
  • Risk Factors
  • Tea*


  • Tea