December 14, 2009

News You Can Use

More proof that the gargle is good for what ails ye':

In research, which will be published in the British Journal of Nutrition this week, a team led by Dr Jeremy Spencer of Reading University, found that champagne has the same health benefits as previously found in red wine.

It contains polyphenol antioxidants, which are believed to reduce the effects of cell-damaging free radicals in the body. In particular, these antioxidants slow down the removal of nitric oxide from the blood, lowering blood pressure and therefore reducing the risk of heart problems and strokes.

Dr Spencer told a Sunday newspaper: "We have found that a couple of glasses a day has a beneficial effect on the walls of blood vessels which suggests champagne has the potential to reduce strokes and heart disease.

"It is very exciting news."

Indeed, although the fact of the matter is that I really don't much care for the champers - zee bubbles get up my nose and I usually end up with a very specific kind of monster headache as well. But I'm glad to see affirmation that sticking with the ol' reds produces the same effect.

Oh, and if you're on the wagon, you're not necessarily out of luck:

And the benefits are not limited to alcoholic drinks. Dr Spencer has also found high levels of the antioxidant in cocoa beans meaning a mug of hot cocoa before bedtime is just as good, but, as he points out, "it doesn't seem as much fun somehow".

Heh. I like the way Dr. Spencer thinks.

Posted by Robert at December 14, 2009 09:53 AM | TrackBack

It's the reds that give me an almost instant headache...I'm not much for bubbles, but it was on champagne that I came the closest I've ever been to drunk...

Posted by: diane at December 14, 2009 10:01 AM

I believe it's actually much more common to get the headache from the reds, although I've never experienced it. I used to know the medical reason for this, but it's slipped my mind. Too much drink, I suppose.

I also find myself, having never much cared for them to begin with, disliking whites more and more. But since I don't like fish either, this isn't much of a problem.

Posted by: Robbo the LB at December 14, 2009 10:18 AM

The headaches are caused, I believe, by an allergy to something in the wine. I've heard of such reactions to both red and white, altho yes,more commonly to red. Some people also react that way to various cheese. Poor them. If the research johnnies are right, I should be just about immortal.

Posted by: mothe at December 14, 2009 11:46 AM

It's the sulfites in the red that can cause a problem. For me that isn't much of a problem, but moldy cheese (brie, blue cheese, etc.) are as well as organic beer.

Posted by: rbj at December 14, 2009 01:35 PM

Just wanted to say, love the blog. I've been reading it for some time now, just not much of a "commenter."

I also can't stand Champagne. But a good Merlot or Cab? Bring it on. The health benefits just make it easier to justify to my wife why I buy a couple bottles each week. "Honey, I'm doing it for my heart."

Somehow, she just doesn't buy it...

Posted by: Steve at December 14, 2009 04:18 PM
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