Cancer experts say drinking red wine may decrease the risk of lung cancer in men who smoke, because of its antioxidant properties.
Dr. Chun Chao, a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente Department of Research and Evaluation in Pasadena, California analysed data collected through the California Men’s Health Study, which linked clinical data from California’s health system with self-reported data from 84,170 men aged 45 to 69 years 210 cases of lung cancer occurred.
The researchers measured the effect of beer, red wine, white wine and liquor consumption on the risk of lung cancer, after adjustments were made for age, race/ethnicity, education, income, body mass index, history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or emphysema, and smoking history and the link was not seen with the consumption of white wine, beer, or liquor.
Among the study participants, there was on average a 2% lower lung cancer risk associated with each glass of red wine consumed per month and the most substantial risk reduction was amongst smokers who drank one to two glasses of red wine per day. The researchers say in these men there was a 60% reduction in lung cancer risk.
The researchers warn men that the best way to reduce lung cancer risk is to stop smoking and say even men who drank one to two glasses of red wine per day still face a higher lung cancer risk than non-smokers.
Source: Alcoholic Beverage Intake and Risk of Lung Cancer: The California Men’s Health Study. Chun Chao, Jeff M. Slezak, Bette J. Caan and Virginia P. Quinn. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 17, 2692-2699, October 1, 2008.