The finding of the study published in the October, 2011 edition of the FASEB Journal is important for women whose breast cancer becomes resistant to hormonal therapy.
For the study, the scientists tested the effect of the red wine ingredient Resveratrol in breast cancer cell lines in the laboratory. They compared the resveratrol treated cells to those left untreated, finding drastic reductions of estrogen receptors that they also discovered was a direct result of the red wine ingredient.
The breast cancer cells showed significantly slower growth compared to the cells left untreated.
"Resveratrol is a potential pharmacological tool to be exploited when breast cancer become resistant to the hormonal therapy," said Sebastiano Andò, a researcher involved in the work from the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Calabria in Italy.
However, Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal warns that women shouldn’t take resveratrol supplements or start drinking red wine to treat breast cancer, according to examiner.com.
According to the American Cancer Society, even one drink per day increases the risk of breast cancer and the risk gets bigger with more drinks. According to the editorial message of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, "from a standpoint of cancer risk, the message could not be clearer. There is no level of alcohol consumption that can be considered safe."
The research though encouraging, must be treated with caution and as academic for the time being, according to delWine. The researchers did not study the effects of red wine, but rather the effects of one chemical in a test tube. A lot more studies are needed before one gives any medical opinion. Most studies done on human beings so far have shown that wine and alcohol increase the chance of breast cancer- about 10% with one drink a day. Dr. Curt Ellison who is involved in several studies on wine and health, suggests women take folic acid in the form of a folate tablet that can bring this risk to zero. A strip of 10 tablets of Fos Five suggested by an Indian doctor friend is available for under Rs.2 per strip. You may consult your doctor for specific advice. But with so many other negative factors like smoking, gutka, pan-masala, contaminated vegetables and meats in India, we are surrounded by far more of carcinogenic products and a glass or two of a day of red wine continues to be our qualified recommendation for women- editor