Ladies (and guys) . . . if you like wine as much as many of my friends and relatives do, you may have wondered just exactly how to balance the health benefits with the health risks
Well, a new study has red wine tipped in favor of the health benefits side once again.Cheers!
Yet another study recently exposed another benefit to drinking wine
; on top of slowing down the aging process, it can actually reduce the risk factors for breast cancer. This time, the study comes from Cedars Sinai Medical Center, and was published online in the Journal of Women's Health
. Apparently, red wine can provide an effective “natural weapon” against a major cause of death among American women.
It is a widely held belief that alcohol consumption of any kind heightens the risk of developing breast cancer, because alcohol in general tends to increase a woman's estrogen levels, which in turn increases the risk of cancerous cell growth. In spite of these claims by doctors, the Cedars-Sinai research revealed that certain chemicals in the skins and seeds of red grapes help to lower the estrogen levels while increasing testosterone levels, especially in premenopausal women who drank at least eight ounces of red wine every night for an entire month. Drinking the same amount, or any amount for that matter, of white wine did not produce the same effect.Details of the Study
For the experiment, 36 women were chosen at random to drink either Cabernet Sauvignon (a red wine)
or Chardonnay (white wine) every day for 30 days, and then switched to the other type of wine for another month. To monitor estrogen and testosterone levels of the women, blood was collected twice each month and was used to measure hormone levels.
In theory, the red wine is mimicking the effects of aromatase inhibitors
, which play a vital role in maintaining balanced estrogen levels. The very real benefits of aromatase inhibitors are currently used by doctors to treat breast cancer, and the fact that this same effect can be produced by red wine means that women who drink alcohol can now make a better decision about what kind of alcohol to drink. Red vs. White
It is not entirely clear why white wine does not have the same effect as red, but the researchers speculate that it is because the grapes used in white wine do not have the same protective elements as red grapes. While it won't reduce the risk of breast cancer, white wine won't necessarily increase the risk either.
Because the study was small scale and covered only 36 women, larger research is needed in order to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a red wine treatment. The research team cautions that the results should be taken with a grain of salt until a larger group of women is studied, and they don't recommend that a non-drinker begin to drink red wine solely for this purpose.