Red wine has already been associated with blood thinning properties in the past, but now, it may also make you smarter.
A study by Tim Eschle at Northumbria University last year was conducted to find out if a component in wine named Resveratrol had positive effects on the brain and blood flow. It’s obvious which result all wine lovers would have liked, but with the first set of results back, is it excitement or disappointment?
Ellie King, a participant in the study explained why she decided to take part: “I decided to become a participant because I love wine and I wanted to be part of a study which could potentially discover new health benefits from red wine.”
The study involved each participant (24 in total) completing a set of mental tasks on a computer, firstly before taking the tablet. The participant then takes the tablet, watches an episode of Grand Designs to give the supplement time to be absorbed into their system, and then repeats the mental tasks another three times. This takes around about two hours and is completed in a hypoxia chamber which has a reduced amount of oxygen.
As with most experiments, Eschle had an idea of what he was expecting to find from the study: “We expected to see the lack of oxygen to worsen cognitive performance (mental function) and increase blood flow to the brain. Whilst tasking Resveratrol (the supplement) should help sooth these deficits due to a more efficient supply of blood flow to the brain.”
“Participating in the study was relatively unobtrusive, however having to fast from 8pm the night before a research session was the hardest part, and especially if I had a session booked in on a Saturday morning and would have to stop eating and drinking alcohol a lot sooner than I usually would on a Friday night.” King explained.
Tim has been working on this study for over half a year now, and with 10 data points per second for the blood flow, he claimed: “It’s a lot to work with.” Therefore, although the actual study only lasted around five-six months, analysing the data for this type of study takes an extra one and a half months.
However, the first results are now in, and Tim is delighted to confirm Resveratrol has some promising benefits to some types of performance and blood flow.
The news could be seen as positive for those partial to a regular glass of wine. David Harker from Newcastle Wine School explained: “It provides a counter balance to some of the negative messages around wine consumption.”
However, he added: “We would always recommend consumption in moderation as part of a healthy lifestyle.” If you would like to “learn to drink less but drink better”, they also offer wine classes.
The results are preliminary, so they need to be checked a few more times before being conclusive. However, Tim already plans to “look into studying the supplement further.”
Ellie King claimed: “I am so happy. They are definitely the results I was hoping for. This makes all the weekend fasting worth while and the study a success in my eyes.”
The NHS recommends that you shouldn’t exceed 14 units of alcohol per week, whether you’re male or female. They also say that it should be spread over three or more days.