Moderate red wine consumption may lower breast cancer risk.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Breast cancer (Prevention)
Red wines (Health aspects)
Authors: Klatz, Ronald
Goldman, Robert
Pub Date: 08/01/2012
Publication: Name: Townsend Letter Publisher: The Townsend Letter Group Audience: General; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 The Townsend Letter Group ISSN: 1940-5464
Issue: Date: August-Sept, 2012 Source Issue: 349-350
Product: Product Code: 2084012 Grape Red Table Wines NAICS Code: 31213 Wineries SIC Code: 2084 Wines, brandy, and brandy spirits
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 303012882
Full Text: Red wine apparently mimics the effects of aromatase inhibitors, which play a key role in managing estrogen levels. Chrisandra Shufelt and colleagues from Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute (California, US) studied 36 women who were randomized to drink either cabernet sauvignon or chardonnay daily for almost a month, then switched to the other type of wine. Blood was collected twice each month to measure hormone levels. Researchers sought to determine whether red wine mimics the effects of aromatase inhibitors, which play a key role in managing estrogen levels. Aromatase inhibitors are currently used to treat breast cancer. The team found that chemicals in the skins and seeds of red grapes slightly lowered estrogen levels while elevating testosterone among premenopausal women who drank 8 ounces of red wine nightly for about a month. Concluding, "These data suggest that red wine is a nutritional [aromatase inhibitor] and may explain the observation that red wine does not appear to increase breast cancer risk," the study authors submit that these data challenge the widely held belief that all types of alcohol consumption heighten the risk of developing breast cancer.

Shufelt C, Merz CNB, Yang Y, et al. Red versus white wine as a nutritional aromatase inhibitor in premenopausal women. J Womens Health. December 2011.

by Ronald Klatz, MD, DO, and Robert Goldman, MD, PhD, DO, FAASP

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