It’s bad news for booze lovers this week. Two separate studies have come out showing alcohol’s link with cancer, both of which suggest that even low doses of regular drink can boost your risk.
First, the ongoing UK Million Women Study found that women who drink as little as one alcoholic beverage a day — be it beer, wine, or hard liquor — have an increased cancer risk, especially for cancers of the breast, liver, rectum, mouth, throat, and esophagus.
Here’s the kicker, straight from the MD’s mouth:
From the standpoint of cancer risk, the message of this report could not be clearer. There is no level of alcohol consumption that can be considered safe.
Ouch. But that’s not all. A second blow came just a week later when a Georgetown University study found that two alcoholic drinks a day can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by more than a fifth.
Hey, but what about all that stuff about moderate alcohol consumption being good for us? Here’s cardiologist Michael S. Lauer’s take on the matter:
Even if there are modest beneficial cardiovascular effects, we still don’t have a clear picture of the overall risks and benefits of low-to-moderate alcohol consumption.
As usual, the evidence is inconclusive. So where does that leave us?
As for me, I probably didn’t need science to tell me what I already know: regular drinking just doesn’t work. At least not anymore. Maybe it used to “work”, when I was 40 pounds heavier and a few brain cells richer. But these days, just a couple drinks has a noticeable effect on my health, mostly in the quality of my sleep.
Still, I know other people who enjoy their daily tipple and seem to only benefit from a little after-work liquid libation (or so their demeanor suggests). So I struggle with this one, on many levels. If it’s not my sleep that suffers, then it’s my social life. That, and I really like beer. Good beer. Especially the Belgian stuff. Beat that, science.
So here are a few booze-related questions I have for the shooting gallery:
- How often do you drink?
- How much do you drink?
- How does alcohol fit into your whole smarter/fitter regime? Or does it?
- Is alcohol a friend or foe? Do you find it a struggle to moderate your intake?
- Any teetotalers in the audience? How’s that workin’ out for you?
Alcohol-free? Let me interview you!
I’m thinking about turning this train of thought into a larger article, maybe for publication if I can get it in somewhere. I think I’ll call it “Sober in the City” and feature profiles of young, urban-dwellers who choose not to drink. Interview questions include: “How old are you?”, “What do you do for a living?”, “Why don’t you drink?”, “What do you do for fun?”, “How do you meet new people?”, “How do you socialize with friends?”
If that’s you or anyone you know, get in touch!
More news on booze
After A Few Drinks, Older Adults More Impaired Than They Think
Older adults may be more affected by a couple of glasses of wine than their younger counterparts are — yet they are less likely to be aware of it, a new study suggests.
Watching boozy television shows and films encourages drinking
Researchers discovered that viewers watching shows and films peppered with drinking scenes were likely to consume twice as much alcohol as those who watched “dry” movies and programmes.