Champagne Anti-Aging Regiment Could Improve Memory, Research Suggests
New research indicates that moderate Champagne (or any sparkling wine) consumption has a positive effect on memory as we age; now isn’t that the good news you’ve been waiting for? According to researchers at the UK’s Reading University, specific polyphenol compounds in red grapes are believed to improve spatial memory and assist in memory storage. These phenols slow the loss of proteins (a loss commonly associated with aging) that are responsible for storing memory. Red wine is known to have these phenols, but researchers weren’t so sure about bubbly.
Researchers gave some lucky rats champagne-laced food while the control group of rats was merely offered ordinary food. They then placed the rats in a maze in search of food. Five minutes later they placed the rats in the same maze to see which group best remembered the location of the food. The ritzy rats with Champagne-laced food had a 70% success rate over the ordinary food rats (who had a mere 50% success rate). After six weeks of Champagne with dinner, the Champagne rats showed a 200% increase in memory-boosting proteins. So, the news is good: Champagne made with red grapes (sometimes referred to as ‘blanc de noir’) has a high phenolic content. However, Champagne made with white grapes, known as ‘blanc de blanc,’ does not boast as high a phenolic content so read your label carefully. It’s worth noting that any sparkling wine made from red grapes qualifies as high in phenolics, whether it’s sparkling Shiraz or sparkling Oregon Pinot Noir. For medical purposes I recommend sticking to Champagne; if you’re going to do this, then do it right.
The other good news: In a December 2009 study, Champagne was also identified as improving heart health and reducing risk of stroke.