Many have heard about the reports that drinking a glass of wine a day may be helpful in keeping the heart healthy. While this may be true, this doesn’t take into account the long-term consequences that come from drinking alcohol. Drinking alcohol may contribute to cancer, even if it’s only a glass of wine a day.
Paule Latino-Martel, of the French National Institute for Agriculture Research, says, “There is no level of alcohol consumption for which cancer risk is null.”
How Much Alcohol Is Too Much?
The current US and UK standards regarding alcohol consumption refer only to what is safe to consume over a short period of time. Researchers in France say that alcohol, over a long period of time, will increase the risk of cancer.
The American Cancer Society says that what determines the risk for cancer is not so much the amount of alcohol a person drinks in short periods, but is dependent on how much alcohol they drink over a long period or the overall amount. Even having a glass of wine a day will contribute to increasing the risk for cancer. They also state that all forms of alcohol, whether beer, wine or liquor, pose equal threats.
The study was compiled together with the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Fund, and they are requesting international guidelines to be issued. The researchers state the “national health authorities should be aware of the possible legal consequences of promoting drinking guidelines that allow consumers to believe that drinking at low or moderate levels is without risk.
7 Types of Cancer Associated With Drinking Alcohol
Most people are aware that drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can damage the liver and eventually cause liver cancer. However, cancer organizations around the world say that drinking alcohol is actually associated with 7 types of cancer.
Drinking alcohol is associated with mouth, throat, larynx, and esophagus cancer. When combined with tobacco, the risk for cancer increases even more. Drinking alcohol may help the chemicals found in tobacco to easily get into the mouth cells and other areas of the digestive tract.
The American Cancer Society says that consuming even a few drinks every week can increase the risk of breast cancer. A woman’s estrogen levels can be affected by drinking, which may contribute to a higher risk of breast cancer.
Alcohol is also associated with increasing the risk for colorectal cancer. Studies show that men are most at risk, but it also affects women.
Why Is Alcohol Associated With 7 Types of Cancer?
Researchers are not exactly sure what the direct link is between alcohol and increasing the risk for cancer. They believe that alcohol may affect numerous factors. Since alcohol can be irritating to the cells, they can damage them and cause changes to the DNA. These changes may open the door to cancer later on.
Folate vitamins are known to contribute to a body’s overall health. Alcohol reduces a body’s ability to get folates from foods. This can be very problematic for long-term heavy drinkers. Drinking alcohol can also increase the estrogen levels. Estrogen is associated with helping the tissues in the breast to grow, and may contribute to the risk of breast cancer.
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