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Research from the University of Reading suggests that two glasses of champagne a day may be good for your heart and circulation. The researchers have found that drinking champagne daily in moderate amounts causes improvements in the way blood vessels function.

Champagne does this by increasing the availability of nitric oxide, a vascular active molecule which controls blood pressure. It is able to induce these effects because it contains polyphenols, plant chemicals from the red grapes and white grapes used in champagne production.

When you drink champagne, these polyphenols are absorbed into the circulation where they are able to act on the vascular system. Specifically, they appear to slow down the natural removal of nitric oxide from our blood, meaning that it will have a longer time to act on blood vessels and so improve the flow of blood around the body.

High nitric oxide levels in the blood, as a result of drinking champagne, can have beneficial effects, because as well as increasing blood flow, it may help to decrease both blood pressure and the likelihood of blood clots forming. This could therefore reduce the risks of suffering from cardiovascular disease and stroke in older populations, but more research needs to be done to determine the long term effects of daily champagne consumption.

Dr Jeremy Spencer, from the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences said: “Our research has shown that drinking around two glasses of champagne can have beneficial effects on the way blood vessels function, in a similar way to that observed with red wine. We always encourage a responsible approach to alcohol consumption, but the fact that drinking champagne has the potential to reduce the risks of suffering from cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke, is very exciting news.”

Source: David Vauzour, et al. Moderate Champagne consumption promotes an acute improvement in acute endothelial-independent vascular function in healthy human volunteers. British Journal of Nutrition, 2009; DOI: 10.1017/ S0007114509992959

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