Can a cup of coffee a day keep the blues away?

Can a steady stream of java help perk you up? A new study tracking 50,000 women over 10 years shows a few cups of joe a day may help chase the blues away.

Dr. Michael McKee of the Cleveland Clinic says,"They found that those who drank two to three cups of coffee a day had 15 percent less chance of being diagnosed with depression and those who drank four or five cups, 20 percent less. That's a pretty big difference. Something important is going on."

Researchers say that difference may be caused by the caffeine in coffee.

"Caffeine is a stimulant. It helps prevent depression. Many of the early anti-depressants were central nervous system stimulants, amphetamines. It may be that people who drink coffee are more active, exercise more, do other healthy things," Dr. McKee explains.

But there was a big difference. And this is a big study. They followed 50,000 women over a long period of time. While this observational study was extensive, researchers caution against using your morning mojo as a cure-all for depression, saying more studies are needed.

Dr. McKee recommends talking to your doctor before increasing your caffeine intake, since it can also cause negative health effects in some people.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.