Red wine could protect men against lung cancer

Published: November 30, 2005 | 2865th good news item since 2003

A glass of red wine a day could keep tumours at bay according to a study of men with lung cancer, claimed a study published today.

Research published in the specialist medical magazine Thorax suggested that each daily glass of red wine gives 13% protection against cancer when compared with non-drinkers. [Red Wine for Dummies]

But rose wine made no difference and white wine even seemed to have the opposite effect, the study found.

Neither beer nor sprits seemed to affect the development of cancer either although “hoppy” beers can help prevent cancer as well.

The researchers, from the University of Santiago de Compostela, put the beneficial effects of red wine down to the presence of tannins, which have antioxidant properties.

Resveratrol found in red wine has also been shown to stifle tumour development and growth in experimental research, they said.

Beneficial effects of alcohol

But they warned against drinking too much red wine in a bid to ward off lung cancer because of the negative affects of high alcohol consumption.

Between 1999 and 2000, the researchers assessed the lifestyles of 132 patients with lung cancer and 187 patients requiring minor surgery at the same hospital in north west Spain.

The patients, mostly men in their early 60s, were asked about their diet, smoking habits, occupation, and the type and quantity of alcohol they drank every day, including whether they drank red, white, or rose wine.

Both groups drank similar amounts of wine – around three-and-a-half glasses a day – but just over a third of the lung cancer patients drank red wine compared with over half of the other patients. [Earl Mindell’s Food as Medicine : What You Can Eat to Help Prevent Everything from Colds to Heart Disease to Cancer]

Commenting on the research, Professor Andrew Peacock, of the British Thoracic Society, acknowledged the benefits of red wine but insisted the best way to ward off lung cancer was not to smoke.

He said: “We have known for a while that drinking a little red wine can protect against a number of conditions, ranging from the common cold to coronary heart disease.

“This new research suggests that red wine, in moderation, could also protect against lung cancer – the most common cancer in the UK.

“However, it is not recommended that alcohol be used to protect the lungs, as drinking too much has an adverse effect on health.

“Smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer so the best way to reduce your risk of developing the disease is to throw away the cigarettes.” [The Easy Way to Stop Smoking : Join the millions who have become nonsmokers using the Easyway method]

Published in Cancer, Science & Technology
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