8 part video series on the history of Champagne filmed in France

Champagne helps the brain

Silver dress and champagne

Champagne has something healthy for our minds.  Yet another medical study (this one published March 2011) shows the brain benefits from moderate alcohol consumption and particularly for people over 75 years old to lower their risk of developing dementia (cognitive and intellectual deterioration).

“A population-based study, over 3 years, of elderly Germans, aged 75 and older, evaluated the association between alcohol consumption and incidents of dementia and Alzheimer dementia.  Of 3,202 subjects free of dementia at baseline, 217 subjects met criteria of dementia during follow up.  Subjects consuming alcohol had approximately 30% less overall dementia and 40% less Alzheimer dementia than did non-drinking subjects.  Unlike many previous studies showing greater effects of wine on reducing risk of dementia, no significant differences were seen according to the type of alcoholic beverage consumed. 

Overall, these results are similar to several previous studies in the very elderly and suggest that moderate drinking is associated with less dementia, even among individuals aged 75 years and older.”  

With respect to champagne specifically:
According to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in April 2007, moderate consumption of champagne can help protect the brain against injuries from strokes and the degenerative effects from dementia (Alzheimer’s) and Parkinson’s diseases.  Champagne has high levels of polyphenols, which are known plant chemicals that act as antioxidants and help prevent cell death due to oxidative stress. Champagne also contains other phenols such as caffeic acid and tyrosol that have anti-inflammatory effects. 

You can read more on this study via this link.  To summarize: scientists carried out tests on two groups of mice. One set they left alone. The other was treated with champagne extracts. The scientists then simulated a stroke on the cells and noted the results.  Those pretreated with champagne extracts resulted in significant protection against neurotoxicity.  The researchers also noted that those treated with the highest concentration of the champagne extracts had their brain cell function completely restored over time. 

The amount of polyphenols in champagne varies depending on “variety, vintage and a wide range of environmental factors”. Scientists are still studying the long-term health effects of champagne.  Of course, abuse of alcohol will negate any of the positive effect on the body and brain. 

“Be moderate in order to taste the joys of life in abundance.” Epicurus

Not that we ever need an excuse to drink champagne, but the above medical studies are two justifications to consider.  Champagne appears to have real beneficial effects on our brain health and aging. I’ll drink to that! À notre santé!

If you like science and you like champagne…
here is a technical link for you.
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