How Bubbly Can Boost Brain Power

If you only taste Champagne on New Year’s Eve or at weddings, you may be missing out on a surprising cognitive benefit. A new study has found that one to two glasses of Champagne a week can help ward off age-related memory loss as well as the onset of dementia and other degenerative brain disorders.

Scientists at the University of Reading in Great Britain recently published the results of their research in the journal Antioxidants and Redox Signalling. They found that Champagne’s phenolic compounds can improve our spatial memory, which plays a role in navigation and the performance of complex tasks and calculations.

The acid compounds aid signaling in the brain’s hippocampus and cortex and help prevent the loss of proteins involved in memory storage that typically occurs as we grow older. In the team’s study of lab rats, Champagne slowed this decline. Researchers gave the rats a moderate dose of Champagne each day for six weeks — the human equivalent of about a glass-and-a-half a week — and found the subjects performed twice as well on maze tests as rats who had not had previously tasted bubbly.

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