Many women enjoy a glass of wine in the evening with dinner or before bed. It can assist with relaxation and helps people unwind after a long day at work. Many women also think that wine helps with heart health, a nice added bonus.
Unfortunately, recent studies have found that there may actually be a risk for women who indulge in a glass of wine on a daily basis. It’s causing women everywhere to reconsider what was once seen as a healthy habit.
Researchers have known for some time that heavy alcohol use and breast cancer were related. The more alcohol a woman drank, the more likely she was to develop this terrible disease. That’s why, for years, doctors recommended that women (and men, too) drink alcohol only in moderation.
The previous recommendation was that women should drink no more than five ounces a day. The benefits included a healthier heart, better skin, and even help in preventing hearing loss. This was welcome news to women everywhere and an invitation to drink for their health.
A recent study, however, is questioning whether any amount of alcohol is actually good for women. It followed 119 women worldwide and examined their alcohol intake and their risk for breast cancer. It examined both premenopausal and postmenopausal women. The results were pretty stark.
Drinking just ten grams of alcohol per day (equivalent to a small glass of wine, eight ounces of beer, or one ounce of hard liquor) increased the risk of breast cancer by five percent in premenopausal women and nine percent in postmenopausal women. Naturally, women everywhere were alarmed by these results.
The news wasn’t all bad, however. The researchers also found that increased daily activity led to a decreased risk of breast cancer. This might mean that getting enough exercise could cancel out the health problems caused by drinking wine daily. That’s far from certain, however, so if women want to be as healthy as possible, they may want to cut out alcohol out of their diet altogether while still getting daily exercise.
Critics of the study have argued that the sample size is too small to draw any firm conclusions. With only 119 women studied, more research will be needed before we really know what connection, if any, there is between small amounts of alcohol and breast cancer. This initial study does point to a connection, even if it’s not conclusive.
For women who have a family history of breast cancer, giving up alcohol completely may be the best course of action. If you are a woman who drinks wine for the health benefits, you can simply drink organic grape juice instead of wine. Grape juice contains all of the health benefits of wine without the risk. Just make sure the grape juice you’re drinking doesn’t have added sugar, or it could lead to weight gain.
While more research is needed, women who are extremely concerned about breast cancer should give up alcohol until more research has been done. This way, a woman can be sure she’s doing everything possible to avoid this terrible health condition.