A new study suggests that consumption of alcohol on regular basis can increase the risk of certain types of cancer both in men and women. This is in contrast to the previously held view that a glass of red wine daily is good for cardiac health. The new study highlights the dangers associated with daily drinking even in light to moderate quantities without suggesting that alcohol causes cancer.
The study carried on by researchers from Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston underlines that consuming as little as one glass of wine everyday can put women at greater risk of developing breast cancer. Daily women drinkers, according to these researchers, are 13% more likely to be diagnosed with cancers of mouth, larynx, esophagus, throat, bowel and liver, no matter how little the quantity consumed.
The findings are based on data collected from 88,084 women and 47,881 men participating in the Nurses’ Health Study from 1980 and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study from 1986 who were followed until 2010.
“The elevated risks for certain cancers associated with light and moderate drinking are important, and have partly been confirmed by the present study,” researchers wrote in the editorial. “Even when we consider all cause mortality attributable to alcohol, drinking more than 10 grams of pure alcohol per day for women or 20 grams for men over a lifetime can lead to a magnitude of risk not considered acceptable for voluntary behavior in modern societies.”
In another study conducted by researchers at the Oxford University too, researchers had found a link between moderate drinking and breast cancer.
While emphatically stating that further research is required to explore the relationship between smoking and drinking on the risk of developing cancer, they strongly recommend women to restrict their alcohol consumption to not more than one drink daily while men were allowed two standard drinks. Those with a family history of cancer were however asked to refrain from alcohol altogether.