Red wine protects men against prostate cancer

A new research has discovered that men who drink an average of four to seven glasses of red wine per week are only 52% likely to have prostate cancer compared with those who do not drink red wine at all. This finding is published in the June 2007 issue of Harvard Men’s Health Watch. Furthermore, red wine is also found to particularly protect the body against advanced or aggressive cancers.

The research collected various information about many factors that might influence the risk of prostate cancer in men between ages 40 and 64. One of the factors involved is alcohol consumption. Initially, the results for alcohol consumption are quite similar to the many findings of many studies done previously: There was no relationship between overall consumption and risk of prostate cancer.

However, scientists didn’t stop there. They evaluated each type of alcoholic beverage independently. And then the surprise came in. Wine drinking was linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer. White wine was also tested and was compared with red. The findings reveal that red wine is much better in protecting the prostate against cancer. Drinking even low amounts appeared to help, and for every glass of red wine added per week, the relative risk declined by 6%.

Doctors are still perplexed about the findings. They don’t have an exact scientific explanation as to why red wine gives such benefit. However, much of the speculation focuses on chemicals such as various flavonoids and resveratrol which are found in red wine but are missing in other alcoholic beverages. These chemicals are considered antioxidants and some appear to counterbalance androgens, the male hormones that stimulate the prostate.

The Harvard Men’s Health Watch notes that men who enjoy alcohol and can drink in moderation may benefit from a lower risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and cardiac death.

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