May 7, 2013

Champagne May Stop Alzheimer’s Disease

With the growing threat of Alzheimer’s for millions of it only makes sense to find ways that may prevent the mind-robbing disease. Research last year uncovered possible evidence that red wine may help in preventing cognitive decline. Now, a new study is looking at another type of alcohol that may also ward off dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers from Reading University have found that three glasses of champagne per week could help prevent the onset of brain disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The team discovered that a compound found in black wine grapes (Pinot noir and Pinot meunier) help fight forgetfulness.

Champagne could now be just the right beverage for tackling dementia before it has a chance to set in. This is not the first time the bubbly has been touted for its health benefits. The same Reading team found in 2009 that champagne is good for the heart and blood circulation.

The memory-helping compound in champagne, however, is much different: phenolic acid. About 80% of all champagne is made from the two black grape varieties blended together with a white Chardonnay grape.

The researchers found that phenolic acid provokes a noticeable boost to spatial memory, allowing the ability to recognize surroundings and help people find their way home.

Dementia probably starts in the 40s and goes on to the 80s. It is a gradual decline and so the earlier people take these beneficial compounds in champagne, the better.

“The results were dramatic. After rats consumed champagne regularly, there was a 200% 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,” said Spencer, Research team leader.

“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,” he added.

“This is an interesting study, especially for those who enjoy a glass of bubbly,” said a spokesperson for the Alzheimer’s Society. “However, people should not start celebrating just yet. This is the first time a link between champagne and dementia risk reduction has been found. A lot more research is needed.”