Your Taste for Red or White Wine Could Affect Your Breast Cancer Risk

red wine vs. white wine for breast cancer riskIf you've ever had trouble deciding between a bottle of red and a bottle of white ("... whatever kind of mood you're in toooonight!"), have I got the tiebreaker for you! You know all the buzz about how wine (specifically red wine) is great for your health, because of the polyphenols that guard against free radicals, yadayada? Well, researchers thought it might be smart to check which type of wine, if either, could help us fight breast cancer.

Their study, published in the Journal of Women's Health, aimed to see if either wine could serve as an aromatase inhibitor, preventing the conversion of androgens (what we think of as "male" hormones) to estrogen, known to contribute to cancer cell growth. You might be surprised by the findings ...  


Turned out when women drank 8 ounces of red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon for you winos) for a month, it raised levels of free testosterone and luteinizing hormone ... which lead the researchers to conclude that red wine -- not white (in this case, Chardonnay) -- is a nutritional aromatase inhibitor! Interesting, huh?

It's certainly good news for the ladies out there who love a glass of red on occasion. Of course, drinking too frequently -- anywhere from 5 to 9.9 grams of alcohol a day -- has been associated with a 15 percent increased risk of cancer, so, as with everything, it's all about moderation.

Although, I would think women concerned with higher androgen levels -- and who may have conditions like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS and/or infertility -- might actually want to opt for white now, given this research! If you're already doing everything you can to lower your testosterone to do away with some of those unfortunate side effects of a condition like PCOS (like excess body/facial hair, weight gain, acne, wonky periods, etc.), it seems to follow that you'd want to steer clear of certain foods and drinks that could bump up your T! So, thank goodness for white wine!

Definitely brings a whole new perspective to how you'd go about opting for a cab over a chard or vice versa, huh?

Does this research make you think twice about choosing red or white wine?


Image via marya/Flickr

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