Wine Intake and Risk of Lung Cancer.





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Wine has gained attention over the past few years as having benefits other than culinary and social. Compounds found in wine called polyphenols possess antioxidant properties. One specific chemical in wine, resveratrol, has been shown to have possible estrogenic properties and may be beneficial as a chemopreventive agent in breast cancer.1 In addition, researchers in Lyon, France identified what has come to be known as the “French Paradox”. These researchers took data from the World Health Organization that showed that high fat consumption increased the risk of heart disease. They then identified populations in France that had high fat consumption, yet low rates of heart disease, concluding that it was the wine that made the difference.

Since that time, scientists have been perplexed as to how they can explain this paradox, looking closely at the constituents of wine to prove its medicinal properties one way or another. As that research continues, new information is coming to light that may give some additional explanations.

A recent study published in the journal Thorax, investigated the intake of wine and the risk of lung cancer. This study took place in Spain and involved 312 participants. These individuals were interviewed about their lifestyles, including alcohol and tobacco consumption. The main outcome measure was risk of lung cancer and wine intake. The results showed that there was a slight association between white wine and lung cancer. However, there was an inverse association between red wine and risk of lung cancer. Even those who drank one glass a day had a lower risk of lung cancer. There was no association found with beer or spirits. Although further studies are needed, the authors concluded that, “These results suggest that the consumption of red wine is negatively associated with the development of lung cancer.”2


1. Bhat KP, Lantvit D, Christov K, Mehta RG, Moon RC, Pezzuto JM. Estrogenic and Antiestrogenic Properties of Resveratrol in Mammary Tumor Models. Cancer Res. 2001 Oct 15;61(20):7456-7463.
2. Ruano-Ravina A, et al. Type of wine and risk of lung cancer: a case-control study in Spain. Nov 2004;59:981-5.