Gird yourself, folks: if you were planning, like I certainly was, to indulge in a glass (or five) of wine over the holiday season, you might want to read this first.
A large new study that was published in an American Association for Cancer Research journal has just come out with the disheartening news that, because alcohol actually creates a carcinogenic byproduct when it is metabolized, it could actually increase your risk of certain types of cancers.
The study reports that drinkers have a 14 percent higher chance of contracting melanoma than nondrinkers, and if you drink 20 or more grams (0.7 ounces or more) of alcohol per day, you have a 73 percent higher risk of skin cancers in areas that generally do not amass a great amount of sun exposure.
I know, I know: we've all heard the news before that red wine is actually supposed to be good for us, if consumed in moderation. Perhaps that explains why the study found that actually white wine contains higher levels of the carcinogenic byproduct found in alcohol, compared to its rosy twin.
"A total of 1,374 cases of invasive melanoma were documented during 3,855,706 person-years of follow-up," the case results read, saying that alcohol intake ultimately is "associated with a modest increase in the risk of melanoma, particularly in UV-protected sites."
Also, while they don't know exactly why, researchers found that white wine drinkers were at a 13 percent higher risk of melanoma compared to beer drinkers, or other liquor drinkers as well.
Look: nobody is saying if you have a single sip of alcohol -- particularly white wine -- that you're going to necessarily be in trouble. We all know that simply isn't true!
However, do keep in mind that if you are at high risk for melanoma (if you have fair skin, a family history of skin cancer or have had melanoma before), perhaps you should keep all of these factors in mind before you choose what beverage to have.