Coffee, tea, caffeine and risk of depression: A systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of observational studies

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2016 Jan;60(1):223-34. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201500620. Epub 2015 Nov 23.


Scope: The aim of the study was to systematically review and analyze results from observational studies on coffee, caffeine, and tea consumption and association or risk of depression.

Methods and results: Embase and PubMed databases were searched from inception to June 2015 for observational studies reporting the odds ratios or relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of depression by coffee/tea/caffeine consumption. Random effects models, subgroup analyses, and dose-response analyses were performed. Twelve studies with 23 datasets were included in the meta-analysis, accounting for a total of 346 913 individuals and 8146 cases of depression. Compared to individuals with lower coffee consumption, those with higher intakes had pooled RR of depression of 0.76 (95% CI: 0.64, 0.91). Dose-response effect suggests a nonlinear J-shaped relation between coffee consumption and risk of depression with a peak of protective effect for 400 mL/day. A borderline nonsignificant association between tea consumption and risk of depression was found (RR 0.70, 95% CI: 0.48, 1.01), while significant results were found only for analysis of prospective studies regarding caffeine consumption (RR = 0.84, 95% CI: 0.75, 0.93).

Conclusion: This study suggests a protective effect of coffee and, partially, of tea and caffeine on risk of depression.

Keywords: Caffeine; Coffee; Depression; Meta-analysis; Tea.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Caffeine / administration & dosage*
  • Coffee / chemistry*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Risk Factors
  • Tea / chemistry*


  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Caffeine