Can Wine Prevent Cancer?

Wine is roughly 8,000 years old, and since its invention it has been used as a medicinal curative in addition to a tasty beverage. The ancient Greeks used wine as a medicine and also as an aide for taking medicines, and wine was also used as a disinfectant on wounds. In the New Testament of the Bible, Paul advises his colleague Timothy to "use a little wine for thy stomach's sake." And today, nearly three-quarters of U.S. teaching hospitals still serve wine to patients for medicinal purposes.

Can Wine Prevent Cancer? (Slideshow)

Moderate drinking has been proven to be much more effective at improving overall health than other lifestyle changes — such as changing exercise and diet habits — typically recommended to lower the risk of various cancers, heart disease, and other diseases. (A moderate amount of wine is described as one to three 5-ounce glasses per day, typically up to one glass for women and up to two for men.) The average person might need to follow a strict low-fat diet, exercise regularly, exclude salt from the diet, lose a significant amount of weight, and possibly take medication in order to significantly lower cholesterol, but drinking wine may actually have a much greater impact.

Countless studies suggest that drinking wine benefits our health in the short term as well as the long term. It has not only been suggested to prevent various types of cancers including kidney cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, and thyroid cancer, but may also prevent a range of serious diseases, notably cardiovascular disease and coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis. Wine may even prevent more minor conditions including the common cold, stress, and depression. Though this may be true, most doctors don't recommend that patients who don't drink begin drinking for better health.

While most of these studies focus on alcohol in general, our story focuses on the health benefits of wine specifically. All types of wine provide similar health benefits, but red wine may be the best drink choice due to the health benefits of resveratrol, an antioxidant that helps prevent damage to blood vessels, eliminate bad cholesterol, and prevent blood clots. Click through our slideshow to find out how wine can prevent cancer and many other diseases.