10 May 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: Researchers at the University of Reading, UK, have revealed that the phenolic compounds found in champagne can enhance spatial memory, which is responsible for recording information about an individual's environment and is also responsible for storing the information for future navigation. The research has been published in Antioxidants and Redox Signalling.
The compounds work by modulating signals in the hippocampus and cortex. The compounds have been found to favourably alter a number of proteins linked to the effective storage of memories in the brain. Many of these are known to deplete with age, making memory storage less efficient, and leading to poorer memory in old age and conditions such as dementia.
Professor Jeremy Spencer, department of food and nutritional sciences, University of Reading, said that, "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."
Professor Spencer said, "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."
Dr David Vauzour, researcher on the study, added that, "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."