Wine contains several antioxidants and may help reduce the risk of skin cancer, according to a study published online in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology.
“We have observed the positive association between wine consumption and the reduction in skin cancer risk, and this effect may result from the ability of wine to absorb water, which lowers the risk,” study author Dr. Zvi Bar-Sagi, a professor of epidemiology at Tel Aviv University, told The Jerusalem Mail.
The results of the study, which involved nearly 10,000 people in Israel and abroad, support the idea that wine has some protective effect against skin cancer.
The findings were reported at the meeting of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Rome on Friday.
“This study shows that the consumption of red wine, as well as other wine varieties, may help prevent the development of melanoma,” said Bar-Sei, who is also a professor at Tel Hashomer Medical Center.
“It’s interesting that the effects of wine on skin cancer prevention are not just restricted to melanoma but are also observed in other cancers, including colon and lung cancer.”
The findings have not been independently verified by the World Health Organization.
While studies have previously shown that drinking red wine reduces the risk for developing skin cancer by 20 to 30 percent, this is the first time that the protective effects have been found in non-melanoma skin cancer cases.
The study was based on data from the Israeli Cancer Prevention Study, which began in 1995 and tracked the health of almost 2 million Israeli men and women for more than 30 years.
The researchers assessed the risk factors for skin cancer from a variety of sources, including the amount of red fruit consumed, the number of cigarettes smoked daily, the amount and types of alcohol consumed, and other lifestyle factors.
The analysis showed that there was a strong positive correlation between the consumption and risk of developing melanoma.
The researchers found that there were no significant associations between red wine consumption or alcohol consumption and melanoma risk.
In general, people who drink a lot of red are at higher risk of getting skin cancer because they have more vitamin B12 (vitamin B12 is essential for the immune system) and therefore higher levels of red blood cells.
This, along with the fact that red wine contains high amounts of antioxidants, may lead to a protective effect in the prevention of skin cancers, the researchers concluded.
This study is a good start to understanding the mechanism of wine’s beneficial effect on skin cancers and the overall health of individuals, Bar-Shi said.
The authors noted that further research is needed before they can draw any firm conclusions.
However, Dr. Bar-Mei said there is no doubt that red wines are beneficial to health.
“It’s possible that red is a beneficial food source, because it contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and protein, which are all needed for a healthy body,” she said.
“There is also evidence that wine is a natural remedy for skin conditions, including acne.
The most important thing is that you do not drink wine in excess, and don’t exceed the recommended daily intake of red and white wine.”