LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A new study has found that drinking red wine in moderation may reduce a woman’s chances of getting breast cancer, challenging the widely-held belief that any type of alcohol consumption raises the risk of the disease.
Women have for years been advised to avoid alcohol to limit their risk of breast cancer. Now new research from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center found that drinking red wine in moderation can reduce one of the risk factors for breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the leading type of women’s cancer in the U.S.
The study followed 36 younger women who drank eight ounces of cabernet sauvignon or chardonnay for nearly a month, then switched another month. Researchers saw a difference in the women who drank red.
With the red wine drinkers, “the hormone levels, the estrogen levels decreased, while the testosterone levels increased,” Dr. Chrisandra Shufelt said. That change in hormone factors suggest red wine may prevent the growth of cancer cells.
“Red wine has red grapes, the red seed, that goes into the processing of making that, and that’s been found to have phytochemicals that would shift the estrogen levels to be lower,” Dr. Shufelt said. “Whereas white wine did not change those [levels].”
A study as recently as last year found a 15 percent increased chance of breast cancer if women drank 3-6 drinks a week.
The study was published in the Journal of Women’s Health.