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Can a summer glass of bubbly
be good for you?

July 2016

Summer in the UK is wonderful...celebrations and weddings and Wimbledon (although perhaps we can’t guarantee Andy Murray will win every year!); Henley, Cowes...the list goes on of venues and events where it makes perfect sense to drink champagne!

But now there is even better news as there appears to be growing thought that a glass or two of bubbly also offers certain health benefits.

It started really a few years ago when Dr Jeremy Spencer at Reading University gave some rats champagne every day for six weeks and then directed them into a challenge involving finding their way through a maze. For the teetotal rats, the success rate was 50% but for rats that had drunk regular champagne, the success rate went up to 70%. This of course was leapt on by the media but while the research was indeed very limited, Dr Spencer did say that this showed evidence that moderate consumption of champagne has the potential to influence cognitive function such as memory. Unverified reports from Pittsburgh also said they had discovered the there were benefits in champagne that could help prevent the outset of dementia.

Whether this was serious research or not, the idea of health benefits from champagne had been planted and people were quick to dig up a 2009 study in Canada that showed champagne could help lower the risk of contracting diabetes by 13 per cent. Since then various tests and experiments have been taking place and some of the early reports also favour champagne. For instance, research from the University of Columbia has shown that champagne contains proteins that are beneficial to short term memory. Then champagne also contains fewer calories than equal amounts of either red or white wine, which makes it a fractionally healthier choice.

Talking of red wine, champagne is made in part from red grapes and therefore the health benefits of red wine carry on into champagne. One study found that bubby contains high levels of polyphenols; these are antioxidants that can help lower blood pressure and also play a role in preventing heart problems. These antioxidants can also contribute towards lower blood pressure.

One interesting report from leading New York dermatologist Marina Peredo (possibly a little tongue in cheek) says that successful Formula One drivers have lovely supple skin because of all the champagne that is sprayed around when they win.

Evidently champagne can detoxify the skid with antioxidants and its lightening tartaric acid can also help even out skin tone.

From America results of studies appear to show that champagne gives you a lovely buoyant feeling because it contains magnesium, potassium and zinc. Goodness, that is a great way to get some healthy trace minerals!

Finally, and probably the best bit of news, champagne makes you drink more slowly because of its constant flow of bubbles. This means that you are likely to take longer to drink a glass of champagne that possibly a red or white wine or even beer which is less aerated.  We all know over indulgence in alcohol is a no no, so if champagne makes us sip more slowly, that has to be good.
But possibly even better than this is the fact that champagne has a wonderful aura about it. Pop the cork, pour out the fizzy and even before you have taken you first sip, you can’t help but feel in a happy and celebratory mood. And increasing happiness must be the biggest benefit of all.


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