|Wine, Glass, and Bottle
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Before you stock up on Cabernet Sauvignon - red wine that was used in a study about breast cancer risk - sit down and think it over. The study, published in the Journal of Women's Health, was based on a group of just 36 women. These gals were healthy premenopausal women, not pregnant or breastfeeding, not alcoholics, not taking any hormone therapies of any kind, had never had estrogen-fueled cancers, and none had any chronic health conditions. These women also had a healthy body mass index (BMI) which tells us that they were not overweight. All had healthy, regular menstrual cycles, and healthy livers. This is a small study, done with a very select group of subjects, all of them living in fitness-conscious California. I'm saying these women were not your average American moms on a fast-food diet with a beer chaser, a stockpile of ice cream, some excess weight on their frames and a prescription for birth-control pills.
The study aimed to find out if red wines were more effective at lowering the risk of estrogen-dependent breast tumors than white wines. This is controversial because many studies show that alcohol consumption boosts your risk for breast and other cancers, while some components of red wine may act as natural aromatase inhibitors (AIs). White wines don't have the same effect - they don't contain the same phytochemicals and isoflavones that are found in red wines. However, both wines used in this study did contain alcohol, which can degrade your health. This poses quite a difficult set of trade-offs for those who like a glass of red wine with supper.
Most breast tumors, especially in young women, are fueled by female hormones. Alcohol tends to boost levels of estrogens in your bloodstream - a habit which can be as bad for your health as a daily pack of cigarettes or more than 5 years of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). So what can you do? Get the benefits of the phytochemicals and isoflavones from red wine by using unfermented grape juice, taking resveratrol supplemets,or eating red grapes. If you really want a glass of wine with your meals, find a good-quality alcohol-free red wine and keep it on hand. It just might help you keep a New Year's Resolution, and it could boost your health!
Red Versus White Wine as a Nutritional Aromatase Inhibitor in Premenopausal Women. Chrisandra Shufelt, M.D., M.S., C. Noel Bairey Merz, M.D., YuChing Yang, Ph.D., Joan Kirschner, M.S.N., N.P., Donna Polk, M.D., Frank Stanczyk, Ph.D., Maura Paul-Labrador, M.P.H., and Glenn D. Braunstein, M.D. Journal of Women's Health, Volume 00, Number 00, 2011.
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