• How a Glass or Two of Champagne Really Does Lift the Heart

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    Scientists
    are delivering some unexpected cheer this Christmas. They have found
    that a couple of glasses of champagne a day are good for your heart
    and blood circulation.

    Nor, they believe,
    are the benefits limited to expensive fizz: cheaper alternatives
    such as cava and prosecco may offer similar effects.

    The research
    is the handiwork of a team led by Dr Jeremy Spencer of Reading University,
    working with scientists in France, and is to be published in the
    British Journal of Nutrition this week.

    "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," Dr Spencer
    told the Observer. "It is very exciting news."

    Two glasses
    a day of red wine,
    previous research has found, helps ward off heart and circulation
    problems. Most of that effect comes from chemicals called polyphenols,
    which affect circulation by slowing down the removal of nitric oxide
    from the blood. In turn, elevated levels of nitric oxide cause blood
    vessels to dilate, which lowers blood pressure and reduces risks
    of heart problems and strokes.

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    December
    15, 2009

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