Champagne won’t improve my memory, contrary to research

Published 10:07 pm Thursday, November 26, 2015

By Pam Stone 



Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The most welcome news I’ve heard in weeks is this: drinking two to three glasses of champagne, daily, may help delay the development of dementia or Alzheimer’s.


Now, before you hit up Walmart for a silo of Andre’s Cold Duck, this isn’t breaking news, it’s simply been trending on social media as a 2013 study that has been regurgitated, stating, “New research shows that drinking one to three glasses of champagne a week may counteract the memory loss associated with ageing, and could help delay the onset of degenerative brain disorders, such as dementia.”


But the deal is, the rest of the study informs us that, ‘Scientists at the University of Reading have shown that the phenolic compounds found in champagne can improve spatial memory, which is responsible for recording information about one’s environment, and storing the information for future navigation.’


Dr. David Vauzour, the researcher on the study, added, “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.”


So not really earth shaking. The scientists simply seem to be saying to stop eating crap, add a handful of fresh blueberries to your chocolate flavored cereal, add some sparkling wine, and it might be helpful to remember where you parked your car at the mall.


And the other reason we can’t get too excited is because, you see, so far, the experiment has only been carried out on rats that, after being giving champagne (and possibly Noel Coward-esq smoking jackets), found it might “improve spatial memory in those older rodents given champagne to drink over six weeks and seemed to have improved performance when finding treats in a maze test. These rats also seemed to have increased levels of brain proteins related to adaptability and learning.”


Welp, good enough for Aunty Pam.


Because I adore champagne. Not Cold Duck, which, frankly, tastes like ferret pee, but, if I’m flush with cash, Cliquot, or that inexpensive little Italian darling, Prosecco. However, I’m not sure that three glasses will improve my memory because after three glasses of anything, I can hardly find my mouth, much less absorb a new maze in order to earn a treat, but I find it to be my duty as an American, in the name of science, to give it the old college (or in my case, community college) try.


So, bring it on, baby. Hang one of those mouse water bottles up in my house and I’ll latch onto that dribble tube with both fists and drain the bubbly for the required six weeks with only a few nibbly bits of English cheddar and Carr’s water crackers on the side. And if I time this study to coincide with autumn, at the end of the experiment, you can drop me in the corn maze at Strawberry Hill and see if I can find my way out for a ‘treat.’ Which, for me, would be a horse or a big, blingy, Ford diesel truck.


Even optimistically, I don’t see that happening. I see myself, instead, disheveled, yet haughty, strolling that very upright, deliberate, walk that drunks walk so that no one suspects their inebriation, while belting out Laura Branigan’s ‘Gloria,’ before staring suspiciously at the wall of corn before me and, inner mullet surfacing, asking accusingly, “What are you lookin’ at?”


Hmm, I’m suddenly having second thoughts. And so should you as the holiday season is fast upon us. Yeah, I’m thinking very few of us really want to have crystal clear recall of our behavior at the Christmas office party…