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University of Reading research establishes that champagne is good for you

champagneWhat many people have known intuitively for decades has now been established by scientific research: champagne is good for you.  Professor Jeremy Spencer of the University of Reading has shown that moderate consumption of champagne improves cognitive ability and memory retention, and could help to combat the onset of dementia in elderly people.  Prof Spencer tested it on rats, but there are obvious implications for human health and well-being.

The rats were given champagne daily with it mixed in their feed like a mash for six weeks. Each rat was allowed to run in a maze to find an edible treat. Five minutes later, the exercise was repeated to see if the rat had remembered where it had retrieved the original treat and where it could find another.  Without champagne, the rats had a 50 per cent success rate, but after a tipple their score shot up to an average 70 per cent. Biopsy tests measured proteins which are important for short-term memory.

Prof Spencer said: “The results were dramatic. After rats consumed champagne regularly, there was a 200 per cent increase of proteins important for determining effective memory. This occurred in rats after just six weeks. We think it would take about three years in humans.  This research is exciting because it illustrates for the first time that moderate consumption of champagne has the potential to influence cognitive functioning such as memory.”

The link between red grape varieties and long-term health has long been known, and attributed to flavinoids, found in the pinot noir and pinot meunier grapes used in most champagnes, but the memory aid in champagne is attributed to a different chemical, phenolic acid.  This is dramatic news, of special significance to those of us who like the bubbly stuff.  Prof Spencer has recommended that people over 40 should start drinking at least three glasses of champagne a week.  The obvious response is “too little, too late.”  It’s never too early to start laying down the foundations of a healthy late life.  Cheers!

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