Social media has recently been abuzz about a study that seems to suggest that a drink a day could keep the neurologist away. According to reports doing the rounds on the web and beyond, drinking 3 glass of champagne a week may help prevent one of the most common and debilitating forms of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease. Good news or much ado about nothing?
First let’s briefly look at the definition of Alzheimer’s disease. According to the National Institute of the Aging, Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.
The disease strikes fear into any person who has reached at least middle age. No one wants to lose their mind. It is therefore not surprising that anything that offers hope of avoiding it, including brain foods and hormone treatments elicits lots of interest.
Champagne And Alzheimer’s
Scientist are constantly been looking for health benefits of alcohol and findings towards that end almost always cause a buzz. But can getting a buzz by imbibing in the sparkling wine associated with celebration really help prevent Alzheimer’s? In other words, should we toast to the good news?
Well, first of all the “news” is no news. The study being cited was conducted at the University of Reading back in 2013. Someone, it appears, decided to give a new life (and succeeded). Second of all, the study was done on rats, not humans. Nay, it was a small study, involving only 8 rats.
Granted, it is through testing on rats that some of our greatest scientific breakthroughs have been made. However, no study has been conducted using human participants so far. And due to the nature of the disease, especially its typically slow progression, results would be years in coming.
What may be of interest is what in champagne brings about the noted positive results. The study points toward phenols, also referred to as phenolic compounds. Natural phenolic compounds play an important role in cancer prevention and treatment. These include acids, flavonoids, tannins, stilbenes, curcuminoids, coumarins, lignans, quinones, and others. These can be obtained from other natural foods and compounds.