Dr. Thomson shares if alcohol contributes to the development of breast cancer.
So what we know is mostly from epidemiological studies. So we take a population, we ask them what they eat, and then we look at the association with breast cancer risk.
So generally, those studies suggest that when we get above about four drinks a week, we begin to see an association. However, there are some caveats, in that there is some data out of Harvard that suggest that if folate status is adequate, if women are eating a diet rich in greens and citrus and getting enough folate in their diet, that may not be as problematic. And we also have not had sufficient opportunity to look at wine versus liquor versus beer, etc.
So it’s still kind of a gray area in some ways, keeping in mind we are never going to get to do a clinical trial. We cannot go to our human subjects committee and say, “We want these women to drink wine every day and these women not to,” and we will follow them for 25 years and see if they get cancer.
About Dr. Thomson, Ph.D., R.D.:
Dr. Cynthia Thomson, Ph.D., R.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Arizona. She is a registered dietitian with a doctoral degree in nutritional sciences. She has been conducting cancer research since 1994. Dr. Thomson was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2003.