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Your Favorite Wine May Increase Your Risk of Skin Cancer

by
author image Hoku Krueger
Hoku Krueger recently graduated from Occidental College with a B.A. in English and Comparative Literature Studies and a minor in French Language Studies. During her time there she wrote for the Occidental Weekly and interned with The Maui News.
Your Favorite Wine May Increase Your Risk of Skin Cancer
Researchers recently found a link between alcohol and skin cancer. Daily white wine drinkers had a higher risk of melanoma than people who drank other kinds of alcohol. Photo Credit kieferpix/Adobe Stock

Despite what you’ve heard about wine reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes, you might want to put down that glass of chardonnay and brace yourself. A new study published in the American Association for Cancer Research recently proved that there’s an association between alcohol and skin cancer.

In fact, people who have about 1.5 drinks a day are 14 percent more likely to develop melanoma than nondrinkers and 73 percent more likely to develop it in areas of skin that aren’t normally exposed to sunlight. But here's when white wine lovers may want to take a seat. Moscato mavens and riesling fiends have a 13 percent higher risk of melanoma as compared with red wine, liquor and beer drinkers. Cue the waterworks.

Co-author Eunyoung Cho, Sc.D., an associate professor of dermatology and epidemiology at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, tells CNN that acetaldehyde, a carcinogen found in alcohol, may be to blame. While all wine has higher levels of acetaldehyde than beer and liquor, the higher antioxidant count in red wine may offset the risks.

The study followed 210,252 participants over the course of 18.3 years on average. However, its chief limitation is that non-Caucasian ethnic groups were excluded from the study.

Hard as it may be, limiting your alcohol intake overall can reduce your cancer risk. It’s especially important to think twice about drinking if you’re already at a high risk for melanoma (aka you have pale skin, you’ve had skin cancer before or someone in your family has had it).

So if you prefer wine to beer or liquor, we’d suggest most often filling your glass with red and toasting to all the good times you’ve had with a glass of white.

What Do YOU Think?

White wine or red wine? Will this information be affecting your drinking habits? Is white wine worth the risk? Let us know in the comments section!

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