Let’s be honest – we’re always happy to rave about wine’s slated health benefits but a little less inclined to have a closer look at the drawbacks of our favourite drop.
And unfortunately, white wine has been found to have a few of them.
A recent study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, found that increased alcohol intake was associated with a significantly increased risk of rosacea – a skin condition characterised by facial redness and swelling. It also revealed that white wine and liquor in particular were strongly associated with a higher risk of developing the disease.
The study also highlighted that the two beverages are the only kinds that have a high concentration of alcohol, but lack the anti-inflammatory components (like flavonoids) that red wine boasts.
Joel Feren, an Accredited Practising Dietitian and a spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia, told Women’s Health that there is indeed some interesting research celebrating the health perks of your favourite pinot but you’ll need to read fine print.
“In moderation, alcohol can be part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, but drinking too much can be harmful,” Feren explains.
“Alcohol is high in energy, so can contribute to weight gain. Plus, there is good evidence to suggest a link between alcohol intake and risk of certain cancers.”
A study by Brown University published in 2016 for instance, found that white wine intake was associated with higher rates of invasive melanoma. Each drink per day of white wine increased the risk of melanoma by 13 per cent while other kinds of alcohol – like beer, red wine and liquor – did not significantly influence melanoma risk.
The reason for this connection was unknown but researchers theorised that it might be down to some wine’s higher levels of pre-existing acetaldehyde, which can damage DNA and prevent its repair.
Overdoing it on the drinking could also be a barrier to staying in shape.
A standard glass of wine is roughly 102 calories, but the kind of glass we’re guilty of pouring could be pushing 200. That’s equivalent to two mini Mars bars.
“Alcoholic drinks provide energy, but contain few other nutrients, except for the bioactive flavonoids found in wine, mainly red wine,” Feren says.
“If you want to boost your intake of antioxidants then stick to a whole foods diet and include plenty of fruit, different coloured vegetables and whole grains.”
The take home message is to go easy.
“Just because there are some health benefits, this does not mean you have a free license to overindulge. Enjoy a glass, but not the bottle.”