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Red Wine and Breast Cancer (December 11, 2003)

The risk of breast cancer may be reduced by the moderate consumption of red wine, according to a study just published in the journal Cancer Research. Conducted by Dr. Shiuan Chen and colleagues at the City of Hope Cancer Center in Los Angeles, the study showed that a phytochemical (procyanidin B dimer) in red wine significantly reduced the size of tumours in mice and eliminated some altogether. Dr. Chen cautioned, however, that these were animal trials whose results need to be confirmed with humans (trials are now underway), and that in any case this should be seen as possible prevention rather than treatment. Regular, moderate consumption of red wine (due to skin and seed contact in processing) includes phytochemicals which reduce the levels of estrogen. So, for normal, healthy women, Dr. Chen suggests that a glass of red wine a day or eating grapes with skins and seeds may reduce the overall circulation of estrogen in the body and, in turn, the risk of developing breast cancer. However, using red wine for treatment (once a cancer has developed) would require women to drink half a bottle of red wine each day, which is clearly contraindicated by other risks. Some research has suggested that alcohol consumption may increase the risk of breast cancer, so clearly more studies are needed for comprehensive and balanced information.

 

 

 

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