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Wellness experts praise red wine for its wellbeing-boosting benefits, but, when it comes to mental health, you may be better off cracking out the champers! This is according to researchers from Reading University, who are now studying the effects of an ingredient found in champagne that could be very effective in staving off dementia.
Phenolic acid comes from a blend of white and black wine grapes and is commonly found in champagne. This is not the first time that the bubbly has been hyped for health benefits, as scientists believe champagne is good for your heart and circulation. However, positive results from lab test indicate that the hope for champagne to block the onset of dementia is looking good, albeit with human trials still needing to be done.
A team of researchers, led by Jimmy Spencer, a biochemistry professor at Reading University, found phenolic acid provoked a noticeable boost to spatial memory. Lab rats exhibited a 50% increase in memory when they were fed champagne-laced food for six weeks, compared to critters who were fed standard meals. Test results would be very similar in a human brain, and Spencer commented, ‘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.’
He continued, ‘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. 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.’
There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, and it’s estimated the disease will affect one in 85 people worldwide by 2050. The researchers are soon to start a three-year study on elderly pensioners, in which participants will be asked to drink champagne every week. It is still unknown as to the exact amount of the tipple the volunteers will be asked to drink, but experts caution against over-zealous consumption. Nevertheless, Cheers!