Ingredients in red wine cuts lung cancer risk in smokers and former smokers

October 15, 2008

Enjoying a glass or two of red wine daily may slash your risk of developing lung cancer by 60 percent if you’re a male smoker. 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 over the years 2000 to 2006; 210 of them developed lung cancer. The 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. For men who were heavy smokers, the reduction in risk was greater, with a 4 percent lower likelihood of developing lung cancer seen for each glass of red wine consumed per month. 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. The study is published in the October 2008 issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.