Drinking A Glass Of White Wine A Day Raises Risk Of Skin Cancer, Study Claims

First Posted: Dec 02, 2016 02:15 AM EST

A new study has recently revealed that drinking white wine can significantly raise the risk of invasive melanoma that is a type of skin cancer.

According to Mail Online, research revealed that alcohol can cause carcinogenesis as the ethanol in alcohol metabolizes into acetaldehyde, which then damages DNA and prevents its repair. While the link between Sun exposure and skin cancer is well known, the fresh findings suggest white wine could lead to cancerous lesions in areas of the body that are less exposed to the Sun.

Researchers at Brown University in the U.S., led by Professor Eunyoung Cho, utilized data from three large prospective cohort studies that followed 210,252 participants for an average of 18.3 years, using food-frequency questionnaires to determine their alcohol consumption.

The study showed that drinking white wine may significantly increase the risk of invasive melanoma, which is a type of skin cancer. About 3.6 percent of cancer cases around the world have been attributed to alcohol, most typically cancers of the digestive tract, liver, pancreas, colon, rectum and breast.

For the study, the researchers analyzed the alcohol consumption of 210,250 participants in the three large cohort studies who were followed for 18 years. They defined a standard drink as 12.8 g of alcohol.

A unit of alcohol in the U.K. contains around 8 g of alcohol and a medium glass of white wine (175 mL) contains around two units. Researchers said that each glass of white wine daily was linked with a 13 percent increased risk of the disease, Indian Express reported.

Professor Cho said: "It was surprising that white wine was the only drink independently associated with increased risk of melanoma."

"The reason for the association is unknown. However, research has shown that some wine has somewhat higher levels of pre-existing acetaldehyde than beer or spirits. While red and white wine may have similar amounts of pre-existing acetaldehyde, the antioxidants in red wine may offset the risks," she added.

"The clinical and biological significance of these findings remains to be determined, but for motivated individuals with other strong risk factors for melanoma, counseling regarding alcohol use may be an appropriate risk-reduction strategy to reduce risks of melanoma as well as other cancers," she further added.

While red and white wine may have similar amounts of pre-existing acetaldehyde, the antioxidants in red wine may offset the risks, Professor Cho said.

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