We’ve advised you before to keep your brain and body healthy by walking to a coffee shop, and this is especially true for women. Since most anti-depressive medicines may be placebos, try a dose of caffeine instead.

The risk of depression appears to decrease for women with increasing consumption of caffeinated coffee. Caffeine is the most frequently used central nervous system stimulant in the world, and approximately 80% of consumption is in the form of coffee. Because depression is a chronic and recurrent condition that affects twice as many women as men, including approximately one of every five US women during their lifetime, the development of new preventive strategies is a public health priority.

Public health expert Michel Lucas studied over 50,000 US nurses (who need coffee when they’re on the night shift) who had an average age of 63, and had no depression at the start of the study. They were followed up regularly for the next decade, and their coffee intake was measured.

Coffee-drinking nurses may not be depressed, but they’re still in trouble: Almost 17% of nurses who work in outpatient chemotherapy infusion centers report being exposed on their skin or eyes to the toxic drugs they deliver.

Nurse Christopher Friese says, "Any unintentional exposure to the skin or eyes could be just as dangerous as a needle stick." Unlike needle sticks where a specific virus is involved and preventive treatments can be given, it’s more difficult to link chemotherapy exposure to a direct health effect. That makes it more difficult for health care systems to respond to these incidents. But the risk is real: unintentional chemotherapy exposure can affect the nervous system, impair the reproductive system and confer a future risk of blood cancers.

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