Christensen 1990

Ten Depressed Students Find Relief by Eliminating Caffeine and Sugar.


Building on his previous work, Larry Christensen recruited a group of twenty college students, each of whom complained of a list of symptoms including depression, moodiness, excessive sleep that didn't leave them feeling rested, headaches, and a generalized sensation of feeling "bad." He wanted to see if he could measure any statistically significant improvement in mood in students who stopped consuming all caffeine and sugar.

So half the students then were given strict instructions to avoid all foods containing sugar and caffeine for two months. The other half were told to avoid red meat and artificial sweeteners. The researchers incorporated a saliva test for caffeine into their protocol at intervals during the test to measure compliance.

At the end of two months the sugar- and caffeine-avoiding students reported feeling much better than the red meat- and artificial sweetener-avoiding group of students. This change was still marked at followup three months later.

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