One glass of red wine a day ‘protects against prostate cancer’

Drinking moderate amounts of red wine has a slightly protective effect against prostate cancer, according to new research by the University of Vienna.

The retrospective analysis of 17 high-quality studies including around 611,000 patients showed that moderate red wine consumption exhibits a slightly protective effect – however white wine increases the likelihood of the disease developing. Red wine contains ten times the amount of polyphenols found in white wine, which might explain the results.

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in the Western world. Between 15 to 20 per cent of men will be affected by it at some point in their lives and 2.6 per cent die from the disease.

The study’s lead author, Shahrokh Shariat, said: ‘It has already been shown that polyphenols, which are predominantly found in red wine, can have a protective effect in other diseases and other types of cancer. This reduced the risk of developing prostate cancer by around 12 per cent, whereas consuming white wine increased it by 26 percent.’

According to Shariat, ‘moderate’ means approximately one glass a day. The researchers are now aiming to find out which components of red wine have this protective effect and whether this can also be used therapeutically.