Ask the Doctor Question:
What is the role of red wine to treat CLL in early stage? Can it help and if so, how much and how long it can be given?
Answer: There were a couple of studies many years ago that pinpointed a component in red wine called Resveratrol that was thought to act as an antioxidant which caused a bit of a buzz for cancer prevention. But there are no studies directly indicating red wine can “treat CLL in early stages” as you mentioned. According to the National Cancer Institute, clinical trials in humans haven’t shown that resveratrol is effective in preventing or treating cancer. In addition, few studies have looked specifically at the association between red wine consumption and cancer risk in people. And you’d have to consume a lot of wine to ingest enough Resveratrol to be effective, which would defeat the purpose and cause an opposing problem with too much alcohol consumption.
Please enjoy a glass of red wine occasionally in moderation if you wish. But do not expect for it to in any way treat or delay the progression of your CLL. Talk with your CLL specialist about your alcohol consumption and whether they believe there are benefits or risks. If you’re going to drink alcohol, it’s best to stick to the recommendations of no more than one glass a day. And if you haven’t drunk alcohol before now, it is not worth starting just for the health benefits.
It suggested that there might be some benefit to following the Mediterranean diet with CLL that includes a high intake of fish, vegetables, legumes, boiled potatoes, fruits, olives, and vegetable oil. Here are a few links to diet/nutrition articles we have covered on our website. There are multiple links within these articles that you can also follow to read more about the subject: