The sweet smell, the bubbles tickling your nose, the liquid dancing down your gullet; Champagne is an experience unlike any other when choosing to enjoy an alcoholic drink. But contrary to recent reports, the effervescent beverage does not keep dementia at bay.
A study from 2013 out of the United Kingdom reemerged this week, with headlines claiming that drinking up to three glasses of Champagne may protect you from dementia and Alzheimer’s. The study advocates that the Phenolic Acid in hampagne improves spatial working memory, when in reality what this study does is exploit the naivety of readers.
Over a period of six weeks, investigators worked with three groups of rats, eight rats to a group. One group was given a small amount of Champagne, another was given an undisclosed alcoholic drink that different from Champagne, and the third group was given a non-alcoholic drink. Each rat was sent through a maze which contained a treat at the end, following that, the rats were given their beverage according to their group, and sent through the maze again. The setup seems legitimate; a good starting point to investigate how each beverage may affect the rats, but that is where the validity for these claims end.
The study observed rats, not humans, and dementia was not a measureable component in the experiment. As New York Magazine says, “the study in question was not even an observational one, which would have looked at participants’ alcohol consumption over time and compared it with dementia diagnoses.”
So, what were the findings of this study? Five of the eight rats which were given a small amount of Champagne successfully finished the maze, while an average four in the other groups completed the maze. Not exactly an earth-shattering discovery of the pathology of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
So, now that we know Champagne won’t keep us from these debilitating diseases, what are some things we can do? According to Prevention.com, here are three smart things we can do to help.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables: A population-based study of 1,836 older Japanese-Americans found that consumption of fruit and vegetable juices was associated with decreased incidence of Alzheimer’s over seven to nine years of follow-up.
- Consume more Omega 3: Over a study of nine years, people who ate Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna were found to have had lower rates of Alzheimer’s diagnoses compared to those who did not eat the fatty fish.
- Keep blood pressure low: Hypertension appears to be associated with an increased risk of both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.