Dr. Anderson and associates investigated the impact of regular alcohol consumption on colorectal tumors in 2,291 patients undergoing screening colonoscopy. Patients defined as heavy beer or spirits
drinkers had more than twice the risk of developing significant colorectal tumors, compared with abstainers or moderate consumers, the authors report. Moderate wine drinkers, also faced about half the risk experienced by abstainers.
Colorectal tumors were also associated with age older than 60 years, smoking and obesity, the report indicates. The investigators note that “patients who regularly drink spirits have an increased risk for significant colorectal (tumors) and perhaps should be targeted for risk modification by their gastroenterologist in addition to their primary care physician.”
Anderson added that he and his colleagues are currently comparing the effects of red and white wine. Red wine, “due to high levels of (the natural antioxidant) resveratrol,” he added, should be even more protective against colorectal tumors than white wine.
Source: Grimson R et al. Prevalence and Risk of Colorectal Neoplasia in Consumers of Alcohol in a Screening Population. American Journal of Gastroenterology 2005;100:2049-55.