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Champagne Gives Drinkers a Memory Boost

Update Date: May 08, 2013 04:28 PM EDT
champagne, wine
A new study reveals that drinking one to three glasses of champagne a week may counteract the memory loss associated with aging, and could help stall the onset of degenerative brain disorders like dementia. (Photo : Eric Thayer/Reuters)

Who says champagne is reserved only for celebrations? Now you can pop open a bottle of bubbly whenever you feel like you need a memory boost.

A new study reveals that drinking one to three glasses of champagne a week may counteract the memory loss associated with aging, and could help stall the onset of degenerative brain disorders like dementia.

According to the study published in the journal Antioxidants and Redox Signalling, phenolic compounds found in champagne can improve spatial memory, which is responsible for recording information about one's environment and storing the information for future navigation.

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Researchers explain that the phenolic compounds, which are more concentrated in champagne than in white wine, alter proteins linked to the brain's ability to store memories.  Previous studies found that these same proteins deteriorate with age, making memory storage less efficient and leading to poorer memory in old age and neurodegenerative diseases like dementia.

Because champagne slows these losses, researchers believe that it can help prevent the cognitive losses that occur during typical and atypical brain aging.

"These exciting results illustrate for the first time that the moderate consumption of champagne has the potential to influence cognitive functioning, such as memory," Professor Jeremy Spencer of the University of Reading said in a news release, adding that previous findings have also 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," he explained.

Researchers noted that people should drink responsibly, adding that one to two glasses a week will be enough to boost memory.

"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 humans," researcher Dr. David Vauzour said in a news release.

Previous studies found that two glasses of champagne a day may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by improving heart health and blood circulation.

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