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Red wine may protect men from lung cancer

Posted Dec 06 2008 4:50am

New research suggests that drinking the occasional glass of red wine may help men to reduce their risk of developing lung cancer.

Research scientist Chun Chao investigated the relationship between lung cancer risk and beer, red wine, white wine, and liquor consumption in men. Adjustments were made for factors affecting lung cancer risk, such as age, race/ethnicity, education, income, body mass index, history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or emphysema, and smoking history.

The results showed that lung cancer risk dropped by approximately 2% for every glass of red wine a man drunk each month. Results also revealed that drinking red wine dramatically reduced the risk of lung cancer in smokers – male smokers who drank one to two glasses of red wine each day were found to be 60% less likely to develop lung cancer than other smokers who did not drink red wine. However, Chao warns that male smokers who drink one to two glasses of red wine each day are still more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers.

Consumption of white wine, beer, or liquor, was not found to have a significant effect upon lung cancer risk.

Although the reasons why red wine should reduce lung cancer risk are unconfirmed. Chao believes that “an antioxidant component” may well be responsible. "Red wine is known to contain high levels of antioxidants. 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," Chao said in a news release issued by the American Association for Cancer Research.

The study is due to be published in the October Issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

News release: Red wine may lower lung cancer risk. American Association for Cancer Research. October 7th 2008.
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