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White Wine and Skin Cancer: Here's What New Studies Have to Say

White Wine and Skin Cancer: Here's What New Studies Have to Say

White wine? One of our favorites. Skin cancer? One of the worst things in the world. White wine and skin cancer together? Confounding, at best. But turns out there's actually a link between the two.

Now let us back up a second. We know booze tends to get a bad reputation in the health world, even though most of us don’t know how we’d get through the holiday season (and life) without a generous pour or two. But so far, the verdict has been inconsistent on the actual health benefits (or lack thereof) that a glass of vino or a night cap can provide. Some say that red wine is good for your heart. Others say it isn’t. And since there haven’t been definitive findings, we just went back to nursing our glass of Chianti—until now.

In the one piece of news that doesn’t happen to be fake (though we wish it were, TBH), a recent study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, reveals that white wine is associated with an increased risk of melanoma. But before you begin weeping into your riesling, know that the study doesn’t mean that your white-wine habit will necessarily result in skin cancer. It’s important to note that it’s merely correlated with an increased risk in melanoma, and correlation doesn’t mean partaking in drinking a few glasses can cause melanoma.

But there are existing studies that show a connection between alcohol consumption and other types of cancer, says Eunyoung Cho, one of the study authors and an associate professor of dermatology and epidemiology at Brown University in Providence. This isn’t a newsflash, since we all know wine is only a superfood once you add fruit to make the sangria. (We kid, guys.) And while white wine was singled out in this particular finding, other types of alcohol, like red wine and beer, are also associated with increased melanoma rates, though other types weren't as statistically significant in this study, according to Cho. Plus, consider the very compelling (and comforting) argument that wine may still offer some health benefits. “Moderate alcohol consumption is also associated with reduced risk of coronary heart disease,” he says. “Therefore, both risks and benefits of alcohol consumption should be considered individually.”

What is newsworthy about this particular study is that it showed white wine intake was strongly associated with melanoma found specifically in areas of the body that aren’t usually exposed to the sun, like the torso. (Unless you walk around shirtless all the time, in which case, you're awesome.) This finding basically upends the previous thinking that alcohol could affect melanoma rates by making you more susceptible to sunburns, Cho explains. Instead, the authors hypothesize that alcohol may encourage changes in skin cells at the DNA level—which is precisely what could eventually lead to melanoma.

Keep in mind that a lot of the factors that contribute to melanoma—like a family history, predisposition to moles, and that standing appointment at the tanning salon throughout high school—are things you can’t exactly reverse. Alcohol consumption shows itself to be one risk factor you have total control over, so if you do happen to be prone to or at a higher risk for skin cancer, this might be worth keeping on your radar. Or at least holding off on that second glass, for now.

This story originally appeared on Allure December 21, 2016


The above information is not medical advice, for reference only / from : Michelle

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