Here's How Red Wine Can Prevent Cancer
You must be wondering how an alcoholic drink like red wine will not put you at a risk of cancer, let alone prevent it! Well, that's what a group of scientists has to say.
A study conducted by researchers from the Federal University of Rio De Janeiro has found out that resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wine, controls the mutation of P53 protein clumps that lead to the formation of cancerous cells.
Cancer has been labelled as the second-leading global cause of death by WHO which also states that it is responsible for 1 in 6 deaths. Alcohol has also been termed as one of the risk factors that increase vulnerability to cancer.
How then, is red wine even remotely related to preventive methods of cancer?! Red wine, though alcoholic, has a number of health benefits like curing bad breath (yes, yes!) and having soothing effects on the brain.
The key is in being able to balance your wine consumption. Well, if not balance, keeping it to a bare minimum. Let's not get into the advanced details before we take a small peek into the basics of red wine - how it is made, how it is healthy, and how it is unhealthy.
Red wine is made from the pulp of red and/or black grapes. First, the grapes are crushed and then set aside, along with the skin, in an environment that will aid fermentation.
During the entire process, yeast, which is either present on the skin of the grapes or externally added, acts on the grapes as a result of which alcohol is produced. Usually, this alcohol content is about 14.5% (at least that's what Google says!).
Red wine is a storehouse of potent antioxidants like resveratrol and catechin that are good for the body, but the amount of antioxidants differs depending on the type of red wine.
Red wine, when administered in controlled amounts, is also believed to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, dementia, depression, heart diseases and diabetes. However, scientists are yet to give a 100% affirmation about the extent to which this property of red wine holds true.
Red wine may be a good source of antioxidants, yet it does not change the fact that it is alcoholic and consuming too much of it may lead to the exact opposite effects it has on the body when consumed in small amounts.
It may lead to liver cirrhosis (a common outcome related to every alcoholic drink), increased risk of depression and diabetes, or increased alcohol dependence which will most likely turn into an addiction.
The scientists studied the effects of resveratrol, the antioxidant in red wine, on breast cancer cells which contained normal as well as mutated or abnormal versions of P53 (aka TP 53 or Tumour Protein 53) both, in the lab as well as on rodents implanted with the breast cancer cells.
P53 is a gene that under normal circumstances, codes for a protein that acts as a tumour suppressor by killing cancerous cells. But when it undergoes mutation (certain changes in structure), it forms protein clumps that cause cancer.
The study revealed that the resveratrol, indeed, prevented the clumping of P53 in both the cases - lab and rodent - and also prevented the breast cancer cells from spreading or multiplying further. Yet, it is uncertain which contents of resveratrol are responsible for this amazing result.
Prior to this, another (unrelated) study had revealed that red wine prevents the growth of certain bacteria which enter the bloodstream as a result of periodontal diseases and increase the risk of cancer. So, it is highly likely that red wine will be effective in preventing cancer.
If you're someone who regularly consumes red wine, you must absolutely NOT increase your consumption further as it is bound to have adverse effects. But if you're someone who drinks it very occasionally, you're at liberty to increase your consumption, only to a healthy amount.
Consulting a doctor in that regard would be a good option. There's no denying that this specific study has taken us one step closer to preventing cancer effectively, but red wine still has more amount of alcohol in it than it has resveratrol per part, and only a supplement enriched with the antioxidant will have the desired effect on the body in the long run.
You can consume fruits instead, which are also rich in antioxidants beneficial to the body.
This antioxidant is more common than you know. In fact, you might already be consuming a lot of these foods rich in resveratrol - blueberries, cranberries, dark chocolate, peanuts, etc.
The takeaway - Anything consumed in large amounts may only affect the body adversely instead of showing the right results, as is the case with red wine and other alcoholic products. Striking a balance and control is the key.
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