Could your love for chardonnay put you at risk of developing melanoma?

Dec 2, 2016 at 2:07 p.m. ET
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White wine might be a party favorite for not staining your teeth, but people who drink a glass each day may be more at risk for developing melanoma.

But don’t start guzzling beer or merlot for health purposes just yet — regularly drinking any type of alcohol may increase your chances of getting melanoma by 14 percent per drink per day. When researchers broke down the type of alcohol people drank, they found that white wine drinkers had a 13 percent higher risk of getting the skin condition.

More: 8 tips for drinking wine without ruining your teeth

Strangely, the link between alcohol and melanoma was stronger in parts of the body that are not typically exposed to the sun, even though ultraviolet rays are still a major risk factor for the disease. The study found that people who drank 20 grams of alcohol or more per day (12.8 grams of alcohol is considered one serving) were 73 percent more likely to get melanomas of the torso.

It is important to keep in mind that this research doesn’t prove that drinking white wine causes cancer — it just highlights the association, one that investigators want to explore further. It also wasn’t clear why white wine drinkers have a higher risk of melanoma.

More: 12 melanoma facts that will make SPF your new BFF

It’s also worth noting this particular finding did not include any non-white individuals because there were too few participants of color in the study, so the results can’t be generalized for other racial and ethnic groups.

More: Wine counterfeiting is a thing — is your bottle a fake?

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