New research by scientists has disclosed that alcohol is a direct cause of at least 7 dangerous types of cancer.
They have warned drinkers that “there is no safe level” when consuming alcohol.
While obviously the highest risks are to those who drink heavily, there is the warning that even low levels of alcohol can lead to cancer.
Which are the 7 dangerous cancers linked to alcohol?
- Cancer of the mouth and throat
- Cancer of the larynx
- Cancer of the oesophagus
- Cancer of the liver
- Cancer of the colon
- Bowel cancer and
- Breast cancer
This latest research has been carried out by Professor Jennie Connor from the University of Otago, New Zealand
. The professor estimates that alcohol has caused the deaths from cancer of half a million people worldwide in 2012 alone – that is 6% of all cancer deaths.
Spreading the word
This is important because only one in ten are aware of the link between cancer and alcohol. While many are informed about the dangers of heavy drinking to the liver
, they are very surprised when they learn that alcohol can also lead to breast cancer and the others listed above. For example, women who regularly consume 2 units of alcohol per day increase their risk of developing breast cancer
But there is some good news…
Stopping drinking can reduce the risk for some cancers.
Why is alcohol causing this high risk of cancer?
In the case of breast cancer, it is the impact that alcohol has on hormones that is thought to be the main reason.
As far as other parts of the body are concerned, when the liver breaks down the alcohol, it produces a chemical known as acetaldehyde.
This is a chemical that can cause cancer by damaging the material inside cells and preventing them from self-repairing.
Alcohol and its sugar content
Sugar is cancer’s favorite food
and we are frequently advised (for the sake of good health) to avoid
white sugar, brown sugar and agave as well as all artificial sweeteners including aspartame/AminoSweet, sucralose and saccharin.
The alternatives to sugar (if you have a sweet tooth) are 100% pure stevia, xylitol, raw honey
, pure maple syrup
, molasses and coconut sugar.
Not all alcoholic drinks are high in sugar
But a 4 ounce pina colada certainly is.
It is one of the alcoholic beverages with the most sugar, containing 28 grams of added sugar, though it all comes from ingredients other than the alcohol. A 4 ounce daiquiri has 6.7 grams of sugar but again not from the actual alcohol.
Beer, gin, rum, whiskey and vodka do not have any added sugar while a 5 ounce glass of red or white wine contains about 1 gram of sugar, which comes from the grapes rather than from added sugar. Back to the high levels again, a 1.5-ounce shot of creme de menthe contains 21 grams of sugar.
Gauging the risks
is still the most preventable cause of cancer and is followed closely by obesity.
But now we have to be aware of the dangers of alcohol too. At the very least, making a plan to have some alcohol-free days every week; cutting down on the number of drinks when partying; and making the decision not to keep too much alcohol in the home could be some strategies to introduce.