Wine, women, and cancer
A fresh challenge to the idea that red wine is a key to good health
It was nice while it lasted, said Audrey Grayson and Joanna Schaffhausen in ABC News. But, after years of research saying that light drinking can benefit your health, a new study from Britain’s Oxford University has found that “even moderate alcohol consumption of more than two drinks a week may raise the risk of cancer.” The study found that alcohol consumption could account for about 13 percent of all breast, liver, rectal, and upper digestive tract cancers in women.
And it doesn’t take much, said Salynn Boyles in WebMD. “Women who drink as little as one alcoholic beverage a day—be it beer, wine, or hard liquor—have a significantly higher cancer risk than women who don't drink at all.”
This will put the guilt—and worry—back into one of life’s guilty pleasures, said Rob Stein in The Washington Post. A lot of us were long buoyed by the belief that sipping a glass of Pinot Noir was a perfectly safe way to “take the edge off a day.” This latest news will leave a lot of women scratching their heads, “given all the talk about red wine being something akin to a fountain of youth.”
Not all the news on cancer risk is bad, said Roni Caryn Rabin in The New York Times. Another new study—this one in The Archives of Internal Medicine—found that “older men and women who consumed large amounts of dairy foods and calcium were at reduced risk of developing digestive cancers, especially colorectal cancer.” So another old debate—over whether calcium has cancer-fighting potential—has new fuel now, too.