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Cancer Tumor Growth may be increased by Drinking 2 – 4 Alcoholic Drinks Daily

April 4th, 2006

Cancer Tumor Growth may be increased by Drinking 2 – 4 Alcoholic Drinks Daily

Glass of Wine

A recent study from the University of Mississippi found that alcohol consumption can help in the growth of tumors by stimulating vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).

VEGF is a necessary substance that the body needs, but when there is too much it can be harmful.  The researchers in this study used mice to investigate how alcohol consumption in mammals would help in the growth of tumors.  Future research may help in finding ways to slow down the production of VEGF.

The research study was first presented by Wei Tan, Megan Shparago, Amelia P. Bailey and Jian-Wei Gu of the University of Mississippi Medical Center at the Experimental Biology Conference 2006 which was from April 1-5 in San Francisco.

 

The researchers used the equivalent amount of 2 – 4 glasses of alcohol per day that a human would drink and sized it down for mice to drink every day.  Other studies have used high consumption of alcohol, but in this study the researchers used moderate alcohol consumption.

The researchers had put 1% alcohol in the drinking water of six male mice for eight hours each night over four weeks.  The researchers had a control group of six mice that drank regular water.  The researchers injected all the mice with melanoma cancer at the beginning of the study.

At the end of the four week period the mice that had consumed the alcohol were twice as heavy compared to the mice that only drank water.  The alcohol drinking mice also had a dramatic increase in new micro-vessels and were almost twice as dense with blood vessels compared to the regular water drinking mice.  The alcohol drinking mice also had a significant increase in VEGF.

 

Alcohol has been previously linked to an increase in developing cancer.  This research study looked at why alcohol consumption causes cancer.  The researchers found that the mice in this study had an increase in the protein called VEGF.  The VEGF helps to promote tumor growth by increase blood vessels in cancer cells.  The researchers believe that if the VEGF is limited the cancer cells might have died sooner. 

VEGF is a naturally occurring protein that the body needs.  It is used to help organ tissues grow.  At the same time if the body’s immune system has tumor cells that grow too large it is not able to kill them off and VEGF helps the tumors growth by developing blood vessels.  If the tumors would remain small enough the body would be able to kill the cancer cells.

 

When alcohol is consumed it enters into cells.  In an attempt for the cell to get rid of the alcohol the cell increases its metabolic activity.  The cells require more oxygen during this process, but often deplete the oxygen supply in the process of trying to break down the alcohol.  This triggers the VEGF to create more blood vessels to help deliver the oxygen, but at the same time can help in the growth of tumors.

The researchers have not determined a safe level for alcohol consumption in this study; they suggest that you should have caution in drinking on a daily basis.  Gu said, "If you have risk for any kind of cancer, don't drink at all.  I don't think 2-4 drinks per day is okay."

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Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication

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Keywords and misspellings: alchohol consumption health risks canser kancer tumour tumer toomer growth cancer risk and prevention


Important:  The material on Best Syndication is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. You should promptly seek professional medical care if you have any concern about your health, and you should always consult your physician before starting a fitness program.
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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                   Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:48 PM