Archive for March 29th, 2012
Just one alcoholic drink a day can boost a woman's risk of breast cancer by about 5 percent, according to a new review of existing research.
Heavier drinking — three or more drinks a day — can increase risk up to 50 percent, according to researchers from Germany, France and Italy.
"Alcohol consumption is causally related with breast cancer," the study authors concluded after reviewing 113 prior studies. They attributed 2 percent of breast cancer cases in Europe and North America to light drinking alone, and about 50,000 cases worldwide to heavy drinking.
The research seems to confirm the expert advice for women to minimize drinking, said study leader Dr. Helmut Seitz, professor of medicine, gastroenterology and alcohol research at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.
The findings suggest that healthy women at average risk of breast cancer should not consume more than one alcoholic drink a day, the authors said.
The pulse quickens, the heart pounds and adrenalin courses through the veins, but in stressful situations is our reaction controlled by our genes, and does it differ between the sexes? Australian scientists, writing in BioEssays, believe the SRY gene, which directs male development, may promote aggression and other traditionally male behavioural traits resulting in the fight-or-flight reaction to stress.
Research has shown how the body reacts to stress by activating the adrenal glands which secrete catecholamine hormones into the bloodstream and trigger the aggressive fight-or-flight response. However, the majority of studies into this process have focused on men and have not considered different responses between the sexes.
"Historically males and females have been under different selection pressures which are reflected by biochemical and behavioural differences between the sexes," said Dr Joohyung Lee, from the Prince Henry's Institute in Melbourne. "The aggressive fight-or-flight reaction is more dominant in men, while women predominantly adopt a less aggressive tend-and-befriend response."