Moderate drinkers less likely to get kidney cancer

Swedish researchers say moderate drinkers are less likely to develop kidney cancer.

The researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm suggest that people who drink 22 ounces of alcohol a week are 40 percent less likely to develop kidney cancer.

Professor Alicja Wolk and colleagues investigated the association of different types of alcoholic beverages and total alcohol consumption, with the risk of kidney cancer in a large population-based study in Sweden.

The team reached this conclusion after conducting a survey of 855 kidney cancer patients along with a control group of 1,204 people.

The study revealed that consuming at least two glasses of red wine each week, or the equivalent of white wine or beer, appears to have a beneficial effect.

The participants reported their alcohol consumption in terms of standard portion sizes, a glass of beer equaled 200 milliliters, a glass of wine 100 mL, and a glass of strong wine or hard liquor equaled 40 mL.

The researchers also rated the alcohol content of different beverages: medium-strong beer had 2.8 grams alcohol per 100 g, red wine had 9.9 grams per 100 g, and hard liquor 32 grams of alcohol per 100 g.

The researchers found that the risk of developing kidney cell cancer was around 40-percent lower among those who consumed 620 g of alcohol per month compared to those who did not drink at all.

The researchers say drinking more than two glasses of red wine per week was associated with a 40-percent reduction in kidney cell cancer risk compared with drinking no red wine, and there were similar trends for more than two glasses per week of white wine or strong beer.

No relationship was found between kidney cell cancer risk and the consumption of light beer, medium-strong beer, strong wine, or hard liquor.

The researchers suggest the reduced risk associated with the consumption of wine and beer may be due to the phenolics they contain which have antioxidant and antimutagenic properties.

The study is published in the British Journal of Cancer, July 24, 2007.


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