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White Wine and Melanoma

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Melanoma Risk

Today is not a good day. Everything was going so well until I read about a possible connection between white wine and melanoma. Drinking good wine with good food in good company is one of my favorite pleasures. And I prefer white wine to red, mainly because reds give me a headache. I also like the lighter refreshing taste of white wines, especially during the warm months. But today I read about a study that has found a link between white wine and an increased risk of melanoma.


For the study, researchers at Brown University looked at data from three large studies.   They tracked the eating and daily drinking habits of over 210,000 adults over an 18 year period. What they discovered was, when looking at overall alcohol intake, each alcoholic beverage consumed daily was associated with a 14 percent greater risk of melanoma. However, when the researchers looked at the melanoma risk by each alcohol type, only white wine could be independently associated with melanoma.  With each daily glass linked to a 13 percent greater risk of melanoma. Even more disconcerting was melanoma risk per drink per day was higher in woman than men. The only silver lining to this news for me is that beer, red wine and liquor did not significantly affect melanoma risk.  So I may have to get used to the taste of red wine after all!

Making a Switch

I was also heartened to read that the researchers believe more studies need to be conducted into the association between white wine and the risk of melanoma. But those identified in risk groups, such as those with freckles and a history of skin cancer, should make the switch to red wine.  Or, brace yourself, give up drinking altogether to cut their risk of melanoma.

This study is also a reminder that we are at risk of skin cancer even when we don’t expect it.  This makes it even more important to practice safe sun and protect ourselves as best we can against known risk factors. Cover up exposed skin.   Avoid outdoor activities when the sun is at its peak.  Protect your eyes.  And, most importantly, use sunscreen.

Now I’m going shopping for a good red wine, any suggestions are welcome!

If you want a more detailed breakdown of the findings from the study, you can find it here: Melanoma risk




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