A report published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology has suggested that while beer and spirits drinkers face an increased risk of colorectal tumours, wine drinkers may have a lower susceptibility.

According to research undertaken by Dr Joseph C. Anderson and associates from Stony Brook University in New York, patients defined as heavy beer or spirits drinkers had more than twice the risk of developing significant colorectal tumours, in comparison with abstainers or moderate consumers.

But the research also revealed that moderate wine drinkers faced about half the risk experienced by abstainers. Dr Anderson added that red wine, owing to the anti-oxidants it contains, is even more protective against tumours than white wine.

The researchers investigated alcohol consumption patterns among 2,291 patients undergoing screening colonoscopy.