Drinking white wine might raise the risk of melanoma: study

03 December 2016

Alcohol intake, especially white wine, might  up the  risk of invasive melanoma, a serious type of skin cancer, according to new research, IANS reported. 

The researchers who examined the link between alcohol consumption and 

melanoma risk, found that white wine carried the most significant association, and the increased risk was greater for parts of the body that received less sun exposure. 
"It was surprising that white wine was the only drink independently associated with increased risk of melanoma," said study author Eunyoung Cho, associate professor at Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, US, IANS reported. 

Alcohol had been linked with 3.6 per cent of cancer cases worldwide most typically cancers of the aerodigestive tract, liver, pancreas, colon, rectum, and breast. 
Earlier research had suggested that alcohol could cause carcinogenesis as the ethanol in alcohol metabolised into acetaldehyde, which damaged DNA and prevented DNA repair. 
"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," Cho said. 
"While red and white wine may have similar amounts of pre-existing acetaldehyde, the antioxidants in red wine may offset the risks," Cho noted. 

The Daily Mail reported quoting Cho, "The clinical and biological significance of these findings remains to be determined, but for motivated individuals with other strong risk factors for melanoma, counselling regarding alcohol use may be an appropriate risk-reduction strategy to reduce risks of melanoma as well as other cancers."

The researchers studied the consumption of alcohol of 210,250 participants in the three large cohort studies who were followed for 18 years.

However, according to Dr Max Gomez of CBS, it was important to note that this kind of study was just a statistical association, meaning it did not prove cause and effect. It was possible the correlation with white wine was a fluke, especially in a study that relied on people self-reporting their drinking habits, according to Gomez.

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