Bolly Good News! Three Glasses of Bubbly a Week Will Boost Your Memory
Byline: Valerie Elliott
IT'S A perfect reason to crack open the champagne - new research suggests three glasses of bubbly a week can improve your memory.
Scientists are convinced a regular tipple of champagne can help prevent brain disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Connoisseurs have long argued its benefits. Barrister and crime writer Sir John Mortimer drank a glass of champagne every morning and said it was the secret to a long life. He died aged 85.
But the study at Reading University is the first time scientists have identified health benefits in champagne.
In Britain - where one in three over-65s develops dementia - it could be revolutionary.
The compound that helps stave off forgetfulness has been found in the black grapes, Pinot noir and Pinot meunier, used for champagne.
Jeremy Spencer, a biochemistry professor who led the research, said: 'These grapes are used in red wine and lots of research has been done on the health benefits of red wine, so I was curious to find out if there were any health attributes in champagne.' Red wine, if consumed modestly, has been found to help lower blood pressure and protect the heart. This is due to the compound chemicals in vines known as flavonoids.
The memory aid found in champagne, however, is a different compound, phenolic acid.
Prof Spencer suggested anyone over 40 would be wise to drink two or three glasses of bubbly a week. He said: '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. ' About 80 per cent of all champagne is made from the two black grape varieties blended with a white Chardonnay grape. Researchers found that after champagne was consumed there was a significant boost to spatial memory - the ability to recognise surroundings that enables people to find their way home. …