Alcohol is a known risk factor for cancer of the mouth, throat and esophagus, and it has been assumed that all types of alcohol held a similar risk. But this study suggests that wine drinkers are at lower risk for these cancers than beer or spirit drinkers. The reason -- wine contains resveratrol, a substance found in grapes and known to inhibit the development of cancer.
A moderate intake of wine probably does not increase the risk of upper digestive tract cancer, whereas a moderate intake of beer or spirits increased the risk considerably. The apparent cancer-protective effects of wine drinking did not last, however, once drinking became heavy.
The authors point out that mouth, throat and esophageal cancer risks rose by 70% among heavy wine drinkers (more than 21 drinks per week), compared with nondrinkers.
British Medical Journal September 26,1998;317:814-818.
Dr. Mercola's Comment:
Wine does appear to be reasonably safe in moderation. However, if one is, or has been addicted to alcohol, this is not something to consider.