Glass of White Wine Every Day May Increase Melanoma Risk

According to recent study presented by Eunyoung Cho and colleagues in journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, drinking white wine could increase the risk of melanoma.

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that starts in melanocytes, which are cells in the top layer of skin.

While melanoma is considerably less frequent than other skin types of cancers – like basal cell carcinoma – it is considerably more deadly.

Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds and lamps is a main risk factor for melanoma. Other risk elements include having fair skin, light hair, having a weakened immune system, freckles, lots of moles and a family history of the condition.

Now, Cho and team recommend alcohol – especially white wine – should be included to the list.

Daily glass of white wine could increase melanoma possibility by 13%.

Alcohol is a well-known risk factor for a variety of cancers, which includes head and neck cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, and esophageal cancer.

For their research, Cho and team examined the data of 3 large studies – which includes a total of 210,252 adults – to see if there might be a connection between alcohol consumption and risk of melanoma.

As part of the research, individuals were needed to complete food frequency questionnaires, which detailed their alcohol consumption, which includes what alcoholic beverages they taken and how much.

One standard drink was described as 12.8 grams of alcohol, and study individuals were followed-up for a mean of 18.3 years.

When looking at entire alcohol consumption, the study team identified that each alcoholic beverage consumed daily was associated with a 14 percent greater risk of melanoma.

However, when the researchers broke down the results by alcohol type, they identified that it was only white wine that could be individually associated with melanoma; each daily glass of white wine was connected to a 13 % greater risk of melanoma.

With respect to the team, beer, red wine, and liquor had no considerable influence on melanoma risk.

Another finding of interest was that melanomas on parts of the body that were less probably to be subjected to UV rays were more probably to be connected to alcohol consumption.

For instance, adults who taken minimum 20 grams of alcohol everyday were at 73 % higher risk of melanomas of the trunk, but they were only 2 % more probably to develop melanomas of the head, neck, or extremities. Additional research is warranted to recognize the underlying mechanisms.

Results support suggestions to limit alcohol consumption

Cho says the team was amazed that only white wine could be independently related with higher melanoma risk, and additional research is needed to pinpoint precisely why this might be.

However, she points to earlier studies that have revealed some wines have greater pre-existing levels of a chemical known as acetaldehyde, which is well-known to damage DNA. In relation to red wine, she says the beverage consists of a number of anti-oxidants that might counteract the dangerous effects of acetaldehyde.

Overall, the investigators say their results suggest melanoma should be included in the list of cancers connected to alcohol intake.

In addition, the study team says the outcomes support guidelines from the American Cancer Society, which suggest limiting alcohol consumption to a maximum of two drinks everyday for men and one for women.

People who already have a higher risk of melanoma should be especially cautious, the authors note.