Your daily glass of beer or wine may not be so innocent after all.
Recent research has found a link between alcohol consumption and 7 different types of cancer, including breast, colon, and liver cancer.
The study review, which is published in the scientific journal Addiction, argues that the evidence directly linking alcohol and cancer can no longer be ignored. The review examined 10 years of research conducted by the World Cancer Research Fund, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the World Health Organizations cancer body, and more, according to the Guardian (1).
Jennie Connor, former Head of the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine at Otago University in New Zealand and author of the study, said (2):
“There is strong evidence that alcohol causes cancer at seven sites in the body and probably others … Even without complete knowledge of biological mechanisms [of how alcohol causes cancer], the epidemiological evidence can support the judgment that alcohol causes cancer of the oropharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum and breast.”
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Although the average citizen is unaware of the connection, the National Toxicology Program of the US Department of Health and Human Services list alcoholic drinks as a known human carcinogen (3).
Connor added that the substance is likely to cause skin, prostate, and pancreatic cancer. It’s also worth mentioning that cancer risk due to alcohol is dose-dependent, meaning that the more you drink per week, the higher your risk.
Currently, the American government’s Dietary Guidelines suggests that women should stick to 1 alcoholic drink per day or less, while men should stay below 2 a day. 1 drink is equivalent to 12 oz of beer, oz of wine or 1.5 oz of spirits (4).
Going over this limit has its consequences: Chugging down 3.5 drinks can double or triple your risk of mouth, pharynx, larynx and esophagus cancer. It can also increase your risk of colon, rectum, and breast cancer by 1.5 times.
Other organs affected include the ovaries, stomach, uterus, bladder, and kidneys as well as the lymphatic system.