Researchers from Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found men who drink four to seven glasses of red wine a week are only 52% as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer as those who don't drink red wine.
The report was based on a small study examining the risk of prostate cancer in 1,456 men aged between 40 and 64, including alcohol consumption.
The study evaluated each type of alcoholic beverage independently and found that wine drinking was linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer.
When white wine was compared with red, red had the most benefit with even low amounts appearing to help. But by contrast men who were heavy beer drinkers, consuming 35 or more a week for eight years or longer, were at greater risk of contracting prostrate cancer.
The results also confirmed other studies' findings, with the risk of prostrate cancer higher for men with a family history of the disease, who were obese, smokers or African American.
The researchers speculated that the reason was chemical and could be linked to various flavonoids and resveratrol that were missing from other alcoholic beverages.
'These components have antioxidant properties, and some appear to counterbalance androgens, the male hormones that stimulate the prostate' the report said, adding this was a small study so it is too early to endorse red wine for the prostate.
Source: Havard Men's Health Watch, June 2007