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ACG: Red Wine May Lower Risk of Colorectal Cancer

Red wine may be more protective than white wine because it contains more resveratrol

THURSDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- People who drink more than three glasses of red wine per week may have a reduced risk of colorectal cancer, an effect not seen in those who drink white wine, according to research presented this week at the 71st Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology in Las Vegas.

Joseph C. Anderson, M.D., of Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y., and colleagues conducted colorectal screenings in 1,741 patients over age 40, including 1,381 abstainers, 245 red wine drinkers and 115 white wine drinkers. All of the wine drinkers consumed at least three glasses of wine per week.

The researchers found that there were no significant lifestyle differences between the wine drinkers, except that red wine drinkers were more likely to be non-smokers and male. Compared to abstainers, they found that the red wine drinkers had a 68 percent reduced risk of significant colorectal neoplasia, while the white wine drinkers only had a 12 percent reduced risk.

The authors speculated that red wine is protective because it contains more resveratrol, an anti-fungal chemical. "The concentration is significantly higher in red wine than in white wine, because the skins are removed earlier during white wine production, lessening the amount that is extracted," Anderson said in a statement.

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