Sommeliers and Scientists have teamed up to deliver brain health.

Take a glass of wine in hand – stop, stick your nose deep into the glass and now, a deep sniff.  This is part of the wine tasting process and it turns out it’s also critical to your brain’s health.

Humans have five senses.  One is taste.  Another is smell.  This is where smell takes center stage.  We use smell to warn or tell us about what we’re going to drink or eat – which enhances our experience.  Through science, we know that the smell sense starts early and develops throughout late adulthood.

Your sense of smell recalls memories

Smell also brings vivid recall.  Smell activates our olfactory nerve, so smells of flowers or a room, bring memories flooding into our minds.

A recent study on Sommeliers, who use smell as part of their profession, suggests promise.  Recent research published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience discovered that Sommeliers are expected to be less likely to develop Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s than those in other professions.  Why is that you ask?  Somms spend hours every day smelling wine as a part of their profession.

Sommeliers have areas of their brains showing advances in smell. At the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Sommeliers’ brain scans were examined against a test group of other professions.  The scans showed that Somms’ brains were thicker in certain places – specifically in those areas associated with smell and memory.

“This is particularly important given the regions involved, which are the first to be impacted by many neurodegenerative diseases,” said the researchers.  Aha!  It seems that sticking your nose deep into your glass and smelling your wine could be a current and future health benefit!

While the test group size was small, only 13 sommeliers compared with 13 people in other professions, it has sparked deeper study.

Go ahead and drink that glass of wine.  It is known this can help prevent Alzheimer’s as well!

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Contributor:  Stacie Hunt, Certified Silver Pin Sommelier/AIS, Vice President National Association of Wine Retailers, International Wine Judge, Author, Spokesperson and Educator.

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