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Research: Red Wine Can Suppress Abnormal Cell Formation

Aging is often considered a time of loss as seniors must give up some of what they may have enjoyed in their younger years. Wine may be one of those habits that to have gone by the wayside. But research has revealed that seniors don’t need to give everything up. Some things, in moderation, can actually be a benefit.

Q. I’m a woman in my 70s who still enjoys a little wine with a meal several times a week. My daughter is concerned that this is an unsafe practice, since I’m a widow who lives alone. What do you say?

Your doctor can serve as an objective source on this topic. Why not check with a medical professional before you or your daughter determine whether you should curtail your wine consumption. Be honest with your physician about the amount and frequency of your alcohol intake.

The benefits of wine have been studied for years, and there is new evidence out on this topic. Resverstrol, a natural substance found in red grapes and some other red fruits that has often been attributed to health benefits of red wine, has recently been found in a laboratory study to suppress the abnormal cell formation that leads to most types of breast cancer.

"Resveratrol has the ability to prevent the first step that occurs when estrogen starts the process that leads to cancer by blocking the formation of the estrogen DNA adducts," according to Eleanor G. Rogan, Ph.D., a professor in the Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

"We believe that this could stop the whole progression that leads to breast cancer down the road," she said. Rogan was the lead author of the report that was published in the July 2008
issue of Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

If your doctor agrees that it’s fine for you to drink wine in moderation, perhaps a little extra companionship might alleviate your daughter’s worries. Home Instead Senior Care® hires CAREGiversSM, who are screened, trained, bonded and insured, to go into the homes of seniors to help them with their home-care needs. CAREGivers, who are often seniors themselves, can assist with such tasks as meal preparation and mealtime companionship, light housekeeping, medication reminders, errands and shopping.

A little extra company may put you as well as your family at ease.