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Study finds certain compounds in beer, wine effective in slowing breast cancer cell growth

Washington, DC Numerous studies have been published showing that consuming alcohol increases the risk for breast cancer. That's what makes a new research finding from Portugal so intriguing. The study has determined that certain compounds found in wine, beer (and tea) have contributed to a significant decrease in breast cancer cell proliferation.

Background

Numerous studies have found that regular, moderate use of alcohol affects the levels of important female hormones, especially for postmenopausal women whose bodies make much less estrogen and progesterone than before they entered menopause. As a consequence, women's breast cells are exposed to higher levels of estrogen if alcohol was consumed. This may in turn trigger the cells, which are estrogen sensitive in such women, to become cancerous.

Phenolic phytochemicals are widely distributed in the plant kingdom. In various experiments, it has been shown that selected polyphenols, mainly flavonoids, confer protective effects on the cardiovascular system and have anticancer, antiviral and antiallergic properties. Flavonoids are low molecular weight compounds composed of a three-ring structure with various substitutions, which appear to be responsible for the antioxidant and antiproliferative properties. It is well known that consumption of red wine in moderation is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Many believe that the low incidence of coronary artery disease found among the French could be partially related to the pharmacological properties of polyphenolic compounds present in red wine.

A New Study

Three researchers from the Universidade do Porto, Portugal set out to examine whether phenolic compounds could have properties that would be effective in fighting breast cancer, the most commonly diagnosed nondermatologic cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women in the United States. They investigated the effect of t
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Contact: Donna Krupa
djkrupa1@aol.com
703-527-7357
American Physiological Society
19-Apr-2004


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