New Report on Red Wine, the relationship between smoking & lung cancer

Articles
October 13, 2008

New Report on Red Wine, the relationship between smoking & lung cancer

In 1991, 60 Minutes aired a report on what is known as the "French Paradox" -- and it changed attitudes and consumption of red wine. The fact reported was that the French had a 42 percent lower incidence of heart disease than Americans, and somehow managed to accomplish this with one of the highest fat diets in the world; the reason seemed to be that along with this diet came an overabundance of red wine. Numerous studies have surfaced since that further explored the health benefits of red wine. One of the areas of research has been able to make strong cases for relationships between moderate red wine intake and cancer prevention including leukemia, breast, skin, prostate, and now lung cancer, particularly in smokers or ex-smokers.

The study from Dr. Chun Chao of Kaiser Permanente Southern California in Pasadena, comes five years following British scientists publishing findings that resveratrol, an ingredient in red wine, could aid in lung disease. Results now from the  Southern Californian study of 84,170 men 45 to 69 years old over a six year period, showed that people who had ever smoked and who drank at least one glass of red wine daily were 60 percent less likely to develop lung cancer than smokers who didn’t drink alcohol.
Although many studies on the relationship of alcohol and cancer have had mixed results, the study does show evidence once again that the compounds such as resveratrol found in red wine and not white wine, beer, or liquor are unique in their cancer risk prevention. After accounting for the influence of age, education, income, exposure to second-hand smoke, body weight, and other relevant factors, the researchers found that lung cancer risk steadily decreased with red wine drinking, with a two percent drop seen with each additional glass of red wine a man drank per month. No other type of alcoholic beverage, including white wine, was associated with lung cancer risk.
The scientific breakthroughs with regard to red wine’s health benefits that have occurred in the last three decades have no doubt had an effect on gaining shoppers’ attention.  So, how are sales for the red wine category this year?  According to data from The Nielsen Company, dollar sales of red wine in the 52 weeks ending July 26, 2008 are up by 5.2 percent, while white wine leads with 5.8 percent, and blush fell 0.4%. Pinot Noir leads in the selected varietals rising by 16.2 percent followed by Cabernet Sauvignon growing by 7.8 percent. Merlot fell in dollar sales by 0.9 percent. 

In 1991, 60 Minutes aired a report on what is known as the "French Paradox" -- and it changed attitudes and consumption of red wine. The fact reported was that the French had a  42 percent lower incidence of heart disease than Americans, and somehow managed to accomplish this with one of the highest fat diets in the world;  the reason seemed to be that along with this diet came an overabundance of red wine. Numerous studies have surfaced since that further explored the health benefits of red wine.  

One of the areas of research has been able to make strong cases  for relationships between moderate red wine intake and cancer prevention including leukemia, breast, skin, prostate, and now lung cancer, particularly in smokers or ex-smokers.