04-08-2011, 09:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
We drink at our own risk
Any drinking increases the risk of cancer.
Moderate drinking does reduce the risk of cardiovascular events, the question is what is the long term risk overall? What is the balance between total life expectancy, enjoyment of pleasures and quality of life?
Risk Increases With Every Drink
"The cancer risk increases with every drink, so even moderate amounts of alcohol — such as a small drink each day — increases the risk of these cancers," according to a press release from Cancer Research UK, which cosponsors the ongoing EPIC study, along with several European agencies.
"Many people just don't know that drinking alcohol can increase their cancer risk," said Sara Hiom, director of health information at Cancer Research UK.
"Cutting back on alcohol is one of the most important ways of lowering your cancer risk," along with not smoking and maintaining a healthy bodyweight, she said.
The researchers touch on this point in their discussion. They refer back to studies that have shown a beneficial effect of alcohol on death from cardiovascular disease, especially coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke, which have in the past led to recommendations to enjoy a drink to benefit the heart.
But they point out that "even though light to moderate alcohol consumption might decrease the risk for cardiovascular disease, and mortality, the net effect is harmful."
"Thus, alcohol consumption should not be recommended to prevent cardiovascular disease or all-cause mortality," they write.
No Sensible Limit
The researchers also emphasize that this latest study, in addition to several others, shows that "there is no sensible limit below which the risk of cancer is decreased."
This point was also made recently in an editorial in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2009;101:282-283), which accompanied findings from the British Million Women Study showing that even 1 drink a day significantly increased the risk for cancer (J Natl Cancer Inst. 2009;101:296-305).
There is no level of alcohol than can be considered safe.
At that time, editorialists Michael Lauer, MD, and Paul Sorlie, PhD, from the division of prevention and population sciences at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, wrote: "From a standpoint of cancer risk, the message of this report could not be clearer. There is no level of alcohol that can be considered safe."
I may have to drown my sorrows later...
Last edited by SkepticDoc; 04-08-2011 at 09:12 PM..