Drinking wine may help protect against skin damage by radiation therapy

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By David Liu (davidl@foodconsumer.org)


Radiation therapy can cause damage to the skin cells. But a new study suggests that drinking a glass of wine daily during the therapy may cut the risk by as much as two-thirds in women undergoing radiation therapy for breast cancer.

The study led by researchers at Catholic University and the National Research Council in Italy involved 348 women with breast cancer who were divided into three groups depending upon the dose of radiation they received.

The researchers found women with breast cancer who drank wine on the days of treatment had lower rates of grade 2 or higher acute toxicity than those who did not. Of those drinking wine, 13.6 percent experienced skin toxicity compared to 38.4 percent among those who didn't drink.

Dr. Vincenzo Valentini, a radiation oncologist at Catholic University in Rome was cited healthday.com as saying that "The possibility that particular dietary practices or interventions can reduce radiation-induced toxicity is very intriguing."

The researchers believed that antioxidants in wine may play a role in the protection against skin damage by radiation therapy.

Both radiation and alcoholic beverages are recognized by the U.S. government as cancer-causing agents, meaning that they can raise risk of cancer including breast cancer.

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