Background: Although alcohol intake has been positively associated with breast cancer risk in epidemiologic studies, the mechanisms mediating this association are speculative. Objective: The Postmenopausal Women's Alcohol Study was designed to explore the effects of moderate alcohol consumption on potential risk factors for breast cancer. In the present analysis, we evaluated the relationship of alcohol consumption with antioxidant nutrients and a biomarker of oxidative stress. Design: Participants (n = 53) consumed a controlled diet plus each of three treatments (15 or 30 g alcohol/day or a no-alcohol placebo beverage), during three 8-week periods in random order. We measured the antioxidants, vitamin E (alpha (α)- and gamma (γ-tocopherols), selenium, and vitamin C in fasting blood samples which were collected at the end of diet periods, treated and frozen for assay at the end of the study. We also measured 15-F2t-IsoP isoprostane, produced by lipid peroxidation, which serves as an indicator of oxidative stress and may serve as a biomarker for conditions favorable to carcinogenesis. Results: After adjusting for BMI (all models) and total serum cholesterol (tocopherol and isoprostane models) we observed a significant 4.6% decrease (P=0.02) in α-tocopherol and a marginally significant 4.9% increase (P = 0.07) in isoprostane levels when women consumed 30 g alcohol/day (P = 0.06 and 0.05 for overall effect of alcohol on α-tocopherol and isoprostanes, respectively). The other antioxidants were not significantly modified by the alcohol treatment. Conclusions: These results suggest that moderate alcohol consumption increases some biomarkers of oxidative stress in postmenopausal women.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics