Drinking wine – and in particular white varieties – may help to keep lungs healthy, research suggests.
A team from the University at Buffalo has found that drinking wine appears to be linked to better lung function.
The relationship was stronger for white wine
Dr Holger Schunemann
The scientists believe that wine may contain certain nutrients that help keep the tissues of the lung in good working order.
The research was carried out on a random sample of 1,555 people from New York.
In each case, researchers carried out lung function tests and collected information about alcohol consumption.
Researcher Dr Holger Schunemann said: “Red wine in moderation has been shown to be beneficial for the heart, but in this case the relationship was stronger for white wine.”
Dr Schunemann said it was most likely that white wine contained ingredients called anti-oxidants that stop the creation of harmful molecules called free radicals, which can wreak havoc on the lung tissues.
‘Don’t overdo it’
Dr John Harvey, of the British Thoracic Society, said: “The link between wine and lung function is not clear and we need further research into this interesting new area.
“It may well be that the anti-oxidants present in wine are helping to cause this effect. This needs further study.
“Red wine intake, in moderation, has been shown to be good for your heart and further research will tell us whether the lungs may benefit from white wine.
“We would not encourage people to over do it with their wine intake because many studies have shown that drinking alcohol to excess can increase the likelihood of a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, liver and heart disease.
“What we do know is that a balanced nutritious diet – which includes fresh fruit and vegetables – can improve lung function.”
The research was presented at a meeting of the American Thoracic Society.