Health Benefits of Wine for the Brain

Wine is great, we already know that. But what kinds of benefits can it have on you besides just tasting good and making you feel good?

It is the 21st century, studies and research cases of health and nutrition are on a rise. Our daily consumptions are being put under the microscope and tested for their health benefits. Have you ever wondered the benefits of your glass of wine? More and more studies are suggesting weighty evidence of wine on brain function.

A recent health report by the United Kingdom’s chief medical officers state, “There is no justification for recommending drinking on health grounds”. The same scientific community has yet to respond to the numerous reports recommended drinking guidelines, and it’s dismissal of the claims of wine’s protective benefits, and going as far to call them “old wives’ tale”. Now, there is scientific evidence, published in the book Wine Safety, Consumer Preference and Human Health, which shares the contrary.

The “Neuroprotective Effects Associated with Wine and It’s Phenolic Constituents”, researchers present over 95 published studies that support wine’s ability to protect against disease and cognitive impairment. While occasional consumption of red wines and Champagne, in specific, have been shown to counteract brain aging, protect against neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and improving memory function.

While the beneficial relationship is still under observation, research credits resveratrol, a high concentration of flavonoids, and polyphenol compounds that are present in red wine. This organic blend found in red wines, and other foods that are rich in polyphenol, like fruits and tea, have displayed protective nature on a neurological level by decreasing inflammation in the brain.

The greatest breakthrough thus far, suggests red wine improving performance on a cognitive level.   With moderate consumption (on average, one drink for women, two for men), researchers suggest polyphenols are likely the key to benefiting the brain. Polyphenols and their relation to other elements present in red wines could explain why a bottle of Syrah has a protective edge over dark chocolate.

A review studied the neuroprotective effects of Champagne, specifically, on memory. The red Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes used in most Champagnes hold higher levels of phenolic that that of white wines. In these studies, a consistent ability to increase protein production in the brain, stimulating neural function was displayed.

While the analyzed data shows the growing evidence to support red wines health benefits of the brain, researchers say the key is moderated drinking. The International Journal of Cardiology published the research that found light to moderate intake offers the greatest protection. Its benefits with the Goldilocks approach trump both abstinence and excessive drinking.

In our society, a growing population has become more interested in knowing and understanding the effects of our lifestyle choices. We can either choose to inhibit our health or choose to nurture ourselves and thrive. As we all know, too much of one thing can be detrimental, but with this research we can safely say with just the right amount, we can enjoy the pleasures of that glass of wine, both socially and physically.