Many individuals justify a third or fourth glass of wine by saying it has health benefits.
More specifically, there are claims that red wine has cancer-fighting properties and is beneficial in moderation.
So, is there any truth to wine consumption lowering a patient’s risk of cancer or is it just a myth?
Guidelines for Alcohol Consumption
The American Cancer Society and federal government guidelines advise one drink per night for women and two drinks per night for men. Many physicians believe that it’s quite common to underestimate our overall consumption of alcohol per sitting.
They recommend that patients drink in moderation and choose three or four nights per week to avoid alcoholic beverages in order to accurately monitor their intake.
Wine and Cancer Risks
Heavy drinking has been shown to increase an individual’s risk of cancer, especially mouth, throat, liver, and colon cancer as these parts of the body come into direct contact with alcohol.
In addition, research suggests that the toxins in alcohol can cause cell damage that leads to cancer.
Excessive alcohol use can also increase estrogen and contribute to the occurrence of breast cancer. In fact, studies have shown that even one drink per day can increase a patient’s risk of breast cancer.
What About the Antioxidants in Wine?
While it’s evident that heavy drinking can negatively impact one’s health, some patients inquire about the antioxidants contained in wine. The antioxidant that most people are referring to is resveratrol, which is found in the grape skins used to make wine.
However, research from the National Cancer Institute indicates that there are extremely low levels of resveratrol in wine, and that one would have to consume a large quantity of alcohol to get any antioxidant benefits.
For Antioxidant Benefits of Resveratrol, Eat More Fruit
Ultimately, researchers recommend that patients eat more resveratrol-containing fruits such as berries and grapes, rather than turning to wine for antioxidants. Plus, these fruits offer fiber and nutrients not found in alcohol.
To learn more about alcohol consumption and antioxidants, please call Capital Medical Associates to schedule an appointment.