Champagne – good for cognitive health?

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A Link Between Champagne and Cognitive Health has been discovered by scientists from the University of Reading. Champagne slows cognitive elements of aging of the brain, together with blueberries and cocoa (chocolate!) – now this is my kind of study…

A new study reveals that drinking champagne, anywhere from 1 to 3 glasses per week, could benefit your memory and postpone the onset of dementia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other degenerative brain disorders. The study was recently published in the journal Antioxidants and Redox Signalling.

The research team, consisting of scientists from the University of Reading, in the United Kingdom, discovered that the phenolic compounds that are found in champagne are responsible for improving spatial memory. This is the type of memory involved in the gathering of information related to the environment. According to the research team, these phenolic compounds modulate signals from the cortex and hippocampus, the areas of the brain related to learning and memorizing. The compounds were also found to adjust the effect of several proteins that are directly connected to the memorizing process. Previous studies have shown that the levels of these particular proteins drop with aging, thus causing the memorizing process to be less effective. This, in turn, leads to the worsening of one’s memory and is considered to be one of the causes for the onset of dementia. Their study reveals that the phenolic compounds found in champagne can slow down the loss of these proteins, thus also slowing down the aging process of the brain.

When compared to other products that contain phenolic compounds, such as white wine, champagne has the highest levels. Champagne is predominantly derived from Pinot noir and Pinot Meunier, which are types of red grapes, and Chardonnay, a type of white grapes. The phenolic compounds found in these particular types of grapes are considered to be the one that have the most beneficial effects on the brain. One of the authors of the study, professor Jeremy Spencer, notes that “These exciting results illustrate for the first time that the moderate consumption of champagne has the potential to influence cognitive functioning, such as memory. Several precedent studies have shown that flavonoids, the compounds found in red wine, also have beneficial effects on the human organism, if consumed moderately”.
The current study shows that even though champagne doesn’t contain flavonoids, its effect on the brain function and brain aging process is still present, being achieved by the phenolic acids. Professor Spencer advocates a moderate consumption of alcohol, due to the fact that their study results show that even small quantities of champagne per week can be effective. The main author of the study, David Vauzour, adds that their future studies will focus on the transition of these studies to human models. Currently, the effect has been achieved through intake of other foods rich in polyphenol, such as cocoa and blueberries. Precedent studies that were conducted by research teams from the University of Reading showed that 2 glasses of champagne per day have favourable effects on both the heart and circulation and could be responsible for lowering the risk of cardiac arrest and other cardiovascular disorders.

That’s all the convincing I need…

Article Credit: Doctor Tipster.com. Photo Credit: Wired.com

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