Wine: A Glass A Day Can Reduce Risk Of Esophageal Cancer
Esophageal cancer is the fastest growing cancer in the U.S. today. In thirty years, esophageal cancer has grown 500 percent! But the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research has discovered that certain diets and a glass of wine can curtail the risk of a precursor to esophageal cancer, called Barrett’s Esophagus.
Barrett’s Esophagus is a change in the cells of the lower lining of the esophagus caused by constant irritation from gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD). These oxidized cells become cancerous in 30 – 40 percent of cases off Barrett’s Esophagus.
There are no symptoms of Barrett’s Esophagus which makes it difficult to catch. Cases of the condition are generally found while a doctor is performing an endoscopy for another condition, such as GERD. Though there is no cure for Barrett's Esophagus, it can be monitored.
Some good news is that the Kaiser researchers found that a glass of wine, either red or white, can help reduce the risk of Barrett’s Esophagus, an interesting finding considering that alcohol is often linked to esophageal cancer. With this is mind, however, scientists considered subjects who drank beer or liquor. as well as those who drank more than one glass of wine a day. Those findings indicated that there was no reduction in risk of Barrett’s Esophagus in subjects who drank beer or liquor, and no additional benefit from drinking more than one glass of wine per day.
The relationship between drinking wine and the risk of developing Barrett’s Esophagus, published in the March issue of Gastroenterology, is the latest release of information from a larger Kaiser study that looked at diet and GERD. In those studies, it was found that the best way to prevent GERD is to maintain a healthy weight. The oxidative damage to the esophagus caused by GERD is reduced by a diet high in fruits and vegetables (8 servings), attributable to the anti-oxidant properties of this diet. The glass of wine a day helps to contribute even more antioxidants to the cause.
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