The Celebratory Drink That Could Improve Memory

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Scientists have found that phenolic compounds in this drink can help improve spatial memory.

One to three glasses of champagne each week could slow memory loss from ageing, recent research finds.

Scientists have found that phenolic compounds in champagne can help improve spatial memory.

The phenolic compounds come from the Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier red grapes which are used alongside Chardonnay in the production of champagne.

The compounds affect the signals sent from the hippocampus to the cortex.

The compounds were found to slow the age-related decline in this signalling.

Professor Jeremy Spencer, an expert on phytochemicals and brain function, 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.”

The research was carried out on rodents, but Dr. David Vauzour, one of the study’s authors, said:

“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.”

The study was published in the journal Antioxidants and Redox Signalling.

Brain image from Shutterstock

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Published: 21 November 2015

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