In a new study by the team at Reading University, researchers have discovered that drinking one to three glasses of champagne a week, may counteract memory loss associated with ageing. Similarly, results point to a possibility that this counteraction could also help delay the onset of degenerative disorders like dementia.
The paper, published in Antioxidants and Redox, reportedly discovered a specific compound found in Pinot noir and Pinot meunier grapes (two of the grapes that make up champagne), that can assist in the prevention of brain diseases.
The study was carried out a few years ago and found that rats who were administered small quantities of the wine, were able to perform better on simple memory tests.
Why champagne and not wine? The relatively high levels of phenolics,present in Champagne, compared to white wine, are compounds that are believed to be beneficial to memory retention.
Professor Jeremy Spencer, Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Reading, said: “These exciting results illustrate for the first time that the moderate consumption of champagne has the potential to influence cognitive functioning, such as memory. Such observations have previously been reported with red wine, through the actions of flavonoids contained within it.
“However, our research shows that champagne, which lacks flavonoids, is also capable of influencing brain function through the actions of smaller phenolic compounds, previously thought to lack biological activity. We encourage a responsible approach to alcohol consumption, and our results suggest that a very low intake of one to two glasses a week can be effective.”
Dr. David Vauzour, the researcher on the study, added: “in the near future we will be looking to translate these findings into humans. This has been achieved successfully with other polyphenol-rich foods, such as blueberry and cocoa, and we predict similar outcomes for moderate Champagne intake on cognition in human.”
A spokesman for the Alzheimer’s Society described the study as “interesting” but added; “A lot more research is needed.”