New research has found that men who moderately consume red wine may have a lower risk of lung cancer.

“An antioxidant component in red wine may be protective of lung cancer, particularly among smokers,” says Chun Chao, PhD, a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente Department of Research and Evaluation.

The study analyzed data from the California Men’s Health Study, which  comprised males aged 45 to 69 years. Researchers analyzed the effect of beer, red wine, white wine, and liquor consumption on the risk of lung cancer. Adjustments were made for age, race/ethnicity, education, income, body mass index, history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or emphysema, and smoking history.

Each glass of red wine consumed per month was associated with a 2% lower risk of lung cancer. Smokers who drank one to two glasses of red wine per day showed a 60% reduced lung cancer risk—the most substantial reduction found in the study.

“Red wine is known to contain high levels of antioxidants. There is a compound called resveratrol that is very rich in red wine because it is derived from the grape skin. This compound has shown significant health benefits in preclinical studies,” says Chao.

No clear associations with lung cancer were noted for consumption of white wine.

The study is published in the October issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.