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Red Wine May Help Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer

Having a glass of wine with dinner may help protect you from breast cancer, according to a new study from researchers at the Cedars-Sinai Research Institute, USA. The findings were published in the Journal of Women's Health online ahead of print on December 7, 2011.

Previous studies have shown that red wine acts as an aromatase inhibitor (AI) in postmenopausal women, meaning it interferes with the conversion of testosterone to estrogen, providing a protective benefit. The researchers wanted to see if red wine would act as an AI in premenopausal women as well.

Participants in the study included 36 premenopausal women with a mean age of 36. For one month, half of the women consumed 8 ounces of red wine daily and the other half consumed 8 ounces of white wine daily. They were then assigned the opposite for the following month.

Blood samples were taken twice during the month, at the beginning and the end of the participants’ menstrual cycle. The researchers tested the levels of various hormones in the blood to evaluate changes in estrogen levels.

The hormone levels in the blood—particularly higher free testosterone levels and lower sex hormone binding globulin—suggested to the researchers that the chemicals found in red wine may inhibit the production of estrogen and possibly help prevent the development of breast cancer.

White wine was found to have similar effects, however on a much smaller scale.

This is not the first study suggesting that red wine may be beneficial to your health. Red wine has also been linked with weight loss and possible extension of life expectancy. Be careful not to drink more than 10 oz a day, as the negative effects of drinking will outweigh the benefits.

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