October 8, 2009
For several years, moderate alcohol consumption has been touted as a potentially healthy agent protective against heart disease. Such claims are particularly disturbing in light of assertions by The Centers of Disease Control that, while heart disease is the second leading cause of death in America (in people under the age of 85), alcohol is third. Why the third leading cause of death is being advocated as a preventative measure against the second leading cause is a mystery to me.
This causal conundrum is compounded by the fact that alcohol contributes to what has now become the leading cause of death in America (at least for people under age 85): cancer. Research has shown that alcohol consumption significantly increases the risk of cancer, which increases in tandem with lifetime alcohol intake.
People who drink once or more per day have higher risk than those who drink on a less than daily basis. Even less frequent drinking can increase the risk of some cancers. Research has revealed that people who drink one to six times per week have an 83% percent higher risk of developing cancer than those who don’t drink. Daily drinkers had a 300% increased risk of developing esophageal cancer. Researchers in a recent Canadian study found that alcohol use increased the risk of cancer of the esophagus, stomach, colon, lung, pancreas, liver, breast, and prostate.
The types of alcohol most closely associated with the development of cancer are liquor and beer. Although wine drinking involves less risk, wine still increases the risk of a certain cancers (including breast cancer in women).
Topics: Health News