Wine and Breast Cancer

A study released in 1999 used data from the decades-long Framingham health study. 287 out of 5,000 women developed breast cancer - and the researchers found that having one or two glasses of wine a day had no impact at all on those rates.

Wine has both antioxidants and resveratrol, these compounds help to supress and to fight cancer. Also, wine helps reduce stress, which has also been shown to play a role in cancer.

Other research has shown that heavy drinking (more than 2 glasses a day) does increase the risks of breast cancer, but since pretty much nobody in the Framingham study fell into that category, no information was provided about the heavier drinking rates.

A massive research effort in 2002 worked with the results of about 60,000 women with breast cancer and about 100,000 women who did not have breast cancer. It also found that women who drank heavily had higher risks for breast cancer. The study authors explained that women who had one or two drinks a day were providing many health benefits - that they recommended moderate drinking as a healthy way of life.

The breast cancer link became even more solidified in 2009. At that point, researchers for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center interviewed 6,327 women with breast cancer and 7,558 age-matched controls. After taking into account a variety of other factors, they found that women who overconsumed alcohol - drank over two drinks every day (whether it was wine or anything else alcoholic) saw a 25% increase in their breast cancer risks. They found this applied to red wine, white wine, and any other alcohol. The issue was the alcohol itself. The research can be read in the March issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

The message here is very clear. While wine is VERY healthy for you in proper amounts, it is NOT healthy for you in high amounts. A woman drinking over 2 glasses of wine every day is setting herself up for breast cancer, liver damage and many other problems. On the other hand, a woman who drinks NO wine at all is shown to have other health risks. The key as always in life is moderation.

Similarly, if you drink NO water at all every day you run severe risks of dehydration and death. On the other hand, if you drink too much water every day, you can suffer from water intoxication and people have died from this as well. The key to all aspects of life is to take in the items you need in moderation each day.


A great deal of research and work went into my wine / health pages. If you use this information, please credit me properly. Thanks!

Wine and Cancer
Wine and Health

All content on the WineIntro website is personally written by author and wine enthusiast Lisa Shea. WineIntro explores the delicious variety and beautiful history which makes up our world of wine! Lisa loves supporting local wineries and encouraging people to drink whatever they like. We all have different taste buds, and that makes our world wonderful. Always drink responsibly.