Friday, May 18, 2007

Protect Your Brain: Drink More Champagne

If you’re looking for an excuse to drink more bubbly – like we really need one? – here’s some great news from the good folks at University of Reading in England and the Università Degli Studi di Cagliari in Monserrato, Italy. Seems if you’re a regular sipper, you’re actually helping your brain protect itself against injuries and neurological disorders like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. You may even be reducing the effects of aging.

According to a recent collaborative study that was published in the April 18th issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (and reported by Wine Spectator Online), it’s all thanks to a preponderance of plant-derived antioxidants – polyphenols if you want to be technically accurate. And Champagne is packed with them. In fact, mice that were “pretreated with Champagne wine extracts” showed a “significant protection against neurotoxicity” commonly found in stroke victims.

Although the authors of the study discovered the actual amounts of polyphenols found in Champagne vary greatly from “variety, vintage, and a wide range of environmental factors,” they did note these compounds all possess anti-inflammatory properties that help regulate brain cells’ reaction when injured and can also act as cellular-level mops ready to whisk away certain harmful chemicals found in the body. Terroir with attitude!

Now least you think Champagne is only about enhancing the performance of your little grey cells, check out Les Vertus Therapeutiques du Champagne (Therapeutic Virtues of Champagne) by Francois Bonal, Dr Tran Ky, and Dr Francois Drouard. This trio of experts suggest champagne aids digestion, its acidity cuts through fatty foods making it good for the stomach, it is easy digestibility and an ideal post-surgery foodstuff, it doesn’t give you a hangover or headache, it reduces fever and morning sickness, and Champagne is even claimed to have cured cholera in China in 1909. All this and Champagne gases are good for the respiratory system but don’t contribute to other socially unacceptable gases. Now does life get very much better than this?

PS: We tried and tried to locate the actual report in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. So far we’re in an auto-responder loop with their customer service desk. If we find it, we’ll pass along the link. If anyone out there gets it before we do, please let us know.

1 comment:

geoff said...

The reference from the Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry is: http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi/jafcau/2007/55/i08/abs/jf063304z.html