Cancer researchers in the United Kingdom have concluded that drinking as little as one glass of alcohol a day increases your risk of developing bowel cancer by about 10 percent. And, the more you drink, the more your risk of cancer increases.
The study included almost 480,000 people in the U.K. who were questioned about their level of alcohol intake, with follow-ups over the course of six years. In that period, 1,833 developed colon cancer.
The study showed that those who drank more than 30 grams of alcohol per day (less than two pints of strong lager) raised their cancer risk by about 25 percent.
According to Dr. Walker, Cancer Research UK’s director of cancer information, “While there is increasing evidence that over indulging in alcohol can increase the risk of some cancers, research also shows that by far the biggest risk for life threatening diseases is the combination of smoking together with drinking alcohol.”
There is a lot of confusion over safe drinking levels. However, despite the fact that there are some studies touting “benefits” of drinking small amounts of alcohol, such as wine, I personally do not recommend drinking alcohol. There’s far too much evidence showing that alcohol is seriously detrimental to your health.
Alcohol is, in fact, a neurotoxin that can poison your brain. It can also cause a serious disruption of your delicate hormone balance.
In addition, excessive drinking -- just like smoking -- may also be the cause of several other cancers, including cancer of the:
- Mouth, larynx, and esophagus
- Liver and pancreas
A previous study on alcohol consumption and breast cancer even found that postmenopausal women who drink more than half a glass of alcohol per day, and have low intakes of the B vitamin folate, are 60 percent more likely to develop breast cancer than those who do not drink alcohol and have the highest intake of folate.
Does that mean you could just eat more vegetables (high in folate) and be safe? While that would provide you with many health benefits, it will not protect you from the toxic effects of alcohol.
Alcohol is broken down in your body into a chemical called acetaldehyde, which, by the way, is the chemical responsible for hangover symptoms. When acetaldehyde reacts with the neurotransmitter dopamine, it can cause mental and emotional disturbances such as anxiety, depression, and poor concentration.
If you look up the toxicology of acetaldehyde, you'll find that it adversely affects many tissues and organs in your body, which may play a large part in increasing the risk of so many chronic diseases and cancers.
And remember, wine does count as alcohol. Most of the benefits from drinking wine are largely related to the polyphenolic bioflavonoids found in the grape skins and seeds. It is not the alcohol or the carbohydrate content that is helpful.