Red wine protects cancer patients in radiation

One glass a day reduces the risk of skin toxicity, study shows

Drinking red wine can help curb the damaging effects of radiation, a study in women with breast cancer has found. Wine components have already been found to help with the toxic effects of radiation; polyphenols and tannins are particularly effective. In this study, Italian researchers looked at the potentially protective effects of different levels of self-reported red wine consumption in 348 women, all of whom were treated with radiation therapy after breast cancer surgery. The incidence of radiation-induced skin toxicity was 38.4 per cent greater in non-drinkers, compared to 13.6 per cent in those drinking one glass daily and 35 per cent in those drinking two glasses daily. Those who drank one glass daily had a much lower risk of suffering skin effects from the therapy: their risk was reduced by about 75 per cent compared to non-drinkers, the study showed. “If wine can prevent (radiation)-induced toxicity without affecting anti-tumor efficacy, as we observed, it also has the potential to enhance the therapeutic benefit in cancer patients without increasing their risk of serious adverse effects,” Dr. Gabriella Macchia, a researcher behind the study, told Reuters health.