Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in women worldwide. In the US alone, it accounts for 30 percent of all female cancer diagnoses. Thankfully, a new study by the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has found a relatively easy way to lower the risk of breast cancer. While alcohol has been known to raise levels of estrogen, which make breast cancer more likely, research shows that drinking red wine has the opposite effect.

In the study, 36 women were randomly asked to drink either Cabernet Sauvignon (red wine) or Chardonnay (white wine) each day for almost a month before being asked to switch to a different wine. To keep tabs on their hormone levels, the members of the study also drew blood twice a month. It wasn't long before a change in hormone patterns was detected, leading researchers to believe that it's possible red wine mimicks the effects of aromatase inhibitors—drugs used to treat breast cancer.

Furthermore, researchers also checked to see if white wine could have a similar effect, but the results proved negative. According to Glenn D. Braunstein, MD, however, this doesn’t mean that white wine automatically fosters the growth of cancer cells. Red wine is simply uniquely helpful. "There are chemicals in red grape skin and red grape seeds that are not found in white grapes that may decrease breast cancer risk."

Still, there are a lot more questions that have yet to be addressed. For instance, the study does not altogether exclude red wine from contributing to the risk of developing cancer. Despite the seemingly positive results of the study, recent epidemiological data is suggesting that any moderate intake of alcohol over time can still increase the chances of falling ill. If you’re not normally a drinker, then you may want to stick to water instead. On the other hand, if you’re already planning to go drinking anyway, changing your preference from beer to red wine may be in your favor.

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(Photo source: sxc.hu)

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