Scientists culled 210 lung cancer cases from the California Men’s Health Study data bases to determine whether the consumption of red wine, white wine or beer was associated with a higher risk for the disease.
After controlling for several variables, the scientists found that daily consumption of one or more glasses of red wine was associated with a 60% lower risk of lung cancer in men who ever smoked. The association strengthened in the subset of men who smoked regularly.
There was no association between beer or white wine consumption and lung cancer risk.
Red wine contains high levels of resveratrol and flavonoids, antioxidants that may have protective effects against cancer. Resveratrol for example has been shown to promote cell death in lung cancer tissue specimens and to slow cancer growth in mice. White wine contains flavonoids in much lower concentrations than red wine, and does not contain resveratrol, which is found in the skin of red grapes.
Of course the best way for smokers to reduce their risk of lung cancer is to stop smoking. And remember, the above result is for moderate red wine consumption only. Heavy intake may not be protective and is associated with serious health problems.