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Following a group of 210,252 people over 18 years, it was shown that a glass of white wine a day had a 13 percent increased risk of melanoma. While other forms of alcohol such as beer, red wine, and liquor did not pose a significant risk.
Author Eunyoung Cho, ScD, claims that the reason for white wine to be the only drink that independently was associated with risks of melanoma is unknown. She does point out though that some wine has a higher level or pre-existing acetaldehyde than beer or spirits. She also notes that red and white wine both have similar amounts of acetaldehyde—which damages the DNA and prevents DNA repair. However, she believes that it’s possible the antioxidants in red could help reduce the damage.
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This link between melanoma and alcohol was strongest on parts of the body that don’t receive as much sun exposure, such as the torso. Compared to nondrinkers, those who consumed 20 grams or more (12.8 grams was considered a standard drink) of alcohol a day were 2 percent more likely to be diagnosed with melanoma on the neck, head or extremities. However, people were 73 percent more likely to be diagnosed with melanomas of the trunk.
“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,” Cho said in a press release.