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Breast cancer fight could benefit from red wine

A glass of prevention

Do you always pick the pinot grigio over the pinot noir? The reisling over the merlot?

Well, if you’re a woman, you might want to consider a change of color. (And if you’re not a woman, but have one you love in your life, make sure she sees this!)

According to a small study out of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, a change in wine preference could mean a boost to protection from breast cancer. Researchers say that substances in red wine may act as aromatase inhibitors. Yes, those very same aromatase inhibitors that are used for treatment of breast cancer in post-menopausal women.

Why red wine? The substances simply aren’t found in white grapes–they’re chemicals exclusive to red grape skin and seeds.

The study had only 36 women enrolled, but the results are promising. The women, who had an average age of 36, were randomly assigned to drink eight ounces of either red or white wine with dinner for three weeks. The women abstained from drinking the wine during their menstrual periods, and then picked up with the other color for another three weeks. Throughout the study, they abstained from other alcohol and other grape products.

The researchers measured the levels of several hormones and found that the red wine mimicked the effects of aromatase inhibitors, which block the conversion of androstenedione and testosterone into estrogen. Drinking red wine seemed to go along with a higher level of free testosterone as well as decreased estradiol, estrone, and sex hormone binding globulin–all actions of aromatase inhibitors.

Why are aromatase inhibitors so important? Aromatase is an enzyme that helps the body make estrogen, and extra estrogen can lead to cancer formation.

So, next time you’re perusing the wine list at your favorite restaurant or looking for a recommendation at your local wine shop, ask for a red. Making the switch could mean an extra boost to your breast cancer prevention efforts.

P.S. Keep reading to learn what could be the real cause of that stuffy nose…and how to banish it.

Sources:
“Red Wine Study Hints at Breast Cancer Benefit,” Medpage Today (medpagetoday.com)