Enjoying a glass or two of red wine daily may slash your risk of developing lung cancer by 60 percent if you’re a smoker. A study published in the October issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, found that moderate consumption of red wine lowered the risk of lung cancer in men.
“An antioxidant compound in red wine may be protective of lung cancer, particularly among smokers,” said Chun Chao, Ph.D., a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente Department of Research and Evaluation in Pasadena, California.
The study collected information on over 84,000 men aged 45 to 69 years old in California’s healthcare system. Scientists measured the effects of beer, white wine, red wine and liquor on the risk of developing lung cancer. Factors such as race, education, body mass index, and smoking history were also considered.
The researchers found that for every glass of red wine consumed each month, the risk of developing lung cancer dropped by two percent. The biggest reduction was seen in smokers who drank one or two glasses of red wine daily. Their risk was reduced by 60 percent. Beer, white wine and liquor had no measureable effect.
“Red wine is known to contain high levels of antioxidants,” said Chao. "There is a compound called resveratrol that is very rich in red wine because it is derived from the grape skin. This compound has shown significant health benefits in preclinical studies.”
Researchers warn that their findings shouldn’t encourage heavy drinking and also noted that even smokers who drank red wine had a higher risk of lung cancer than non-smokers.
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