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Alcohol's Link To Cancer

With all the favorable research conducted lately about the benefits of drinking red wine, I've warned you about the downsides surrounding it, especially if you drink two or more glasses of any alcoholic beverage. Honestly, I don't advocate drinking red wine at all because I'm convinced the alcohol contained in it is poisonous and will unbalance your hormones. A new study provides new ammunition for that recommendation.

A new study revealed a model that may explain how alcohol stimulates tumor growth. Researchers believe alcohol fuels the production of a growth factor that stimulates blood vessel development in tumors, and found chronic ethanol increased tumor size and levels of the angiogenic factor and levels of the angiogenic factor and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in an experimental model.

Ethanol increases cellular production of VEGF, an important signaling protein in blood vessel growth, particularly in tumors. To uncover the link, investigators exposed chick embryos inoculated with fibrosarcoma cells to saline or physiologically relevant levels of ethanol for nine days.

Compared to the saline control group, embryos exposed to ethanol experienced increases in tumor size, tumor blood vessel density, cancer cell infiltration of blood vessels and VEGF levels. Additionally, tumor volume and intratumoral vascular volume more than doubled.

There was also a significant dose-related increase in VEGF mRNA and protein expression in tumors and cultured cells. Embryos exposed to ethanol had more than EIGHT times the level of cancer cell invasion of blood vessels compared to the control group.

EurekAlert December 13, 2004

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