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Know the Science: The Facts About Health News Stories

Conflicting Health News

Headline: Red Wine Linked to Breast Cancer in Women

Media reports about new medical research findings sometimes give conflicting information. You may see a news report that a health product or approach is good for you, and later see another news report that it’s not. Why do you think there is conflicting information in media reports?

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Right! Researchers report their findings as they complete their studies, and new studies sometimes disagree with earlier discoveries. For example, studies have shown that red wine has some heart-healthy benefits, and that resveratrol (an ingredient found in red wine) may slow the growth of breast cancer cells. However, previous studies have shown that alcohol consumption of any type can modestly increase breast cancer risk. It’s a good idea to look for statements by medical experts, who often put the new study and any conflicting messages into context. Once there has been enough research conducted, experts evaluate all of the research together.