Alcohol boosts cancer risks and other health problems

02 Nov
2015
By Amelia Smith

 There is no denying to the fact that alcohol is bad for health, but different experts consider it differently. Most experts unanimously agree on one fact that the intake of alcohol and cancer risks go hand-in-hand.

Too much of alcohol is more likely to cause addiction that most consumers find very difficult to resist. Any amount of alcohol consumption cannot be accepted in any way. More or less, alcohol affects the function of the body organs and therefore, many health issues are attributed to alcohol drinking. The research studies have made it clear that with the increasing amount of alcohol, the risks of certain cancers including mouth cancer, breast cancer, liver cancer, bowel cancer, esophagus, larynx, and pharynx also increase. Both smoking and alcohol make a deadly combination that can hamper anyone’s health severely. The lack of alcohol treatment or delaying in recognizing its symptoms can also lead to a dangerous condition.

In the year 2010, Cancer Council Australia had estimated that about 2.8% cases of all types of cancer were caused due to alcohol. Don’t classify alcohol into better and worse because it’s alcohol itself that triggers various health problems. Studies on alcohol and cancer risks are still on, and many revelations have come through. Let’s understand some specific aspects of alcohol and how it affects human life.

Alcohol boosts cancer risks

A research study of Edward Giovannucci, MD, ScD, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, reveals that even a moderate consumption of alcohol and cancer risks are associated closely, and cancer caused by the light amount of alcohol affects nonsmokers more than regular smokers.

•    The correct amount of alcohol:

In real life, there is no standard for alcohol that can be recommended, but it’s better to take a measured amount rather than going for the absolute booze. Up to 15g of alcohol a day for women and up to 30g a day for men is said to keep the negativity of alcohol under check.

Before setting any standard for alcohol, there are certain factors such as consumer’s health condition, diet, smoking frequency, genetics, and alcohol treatment history that have to be taken into account.

•    Alcohol and breast cancer:

Breast cancer has been one of the common diseases affecting many women to a great extent. Though there is no direct connection found between alcohol consumption and breast cancer, but it certainly intensifies the risks of breast cancer. So, men or women living with breast cancer should avoid alcohol as much as possible.

“A woman’s average risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer increases by 4% for each additional 10 grams/day of alcohol.” said Maria-Dolores Chirlaque, one of the Spanish scientists, who was a part of the research conducted by five Spanish universities (Murcia, Navarra, Granada, San Sebastian, and Asturias).

•    Alcohol damages body tissues

Body cells are severely damaged by the alcohol, incurring DNA changes preceding the condition of cancers. Alcohol acts as an irritant for the throat and as an accelerator to convert alcohol into acetaldehyde. Count the byproducts of alcohol that come in the form of liver scars and inflammation damaging body tissues. Therefore, in both the conditions – alcohol and cancer risks are correlated to each other because of the deterioration of tissues.

•    Alcohol encourages harmful chemicals

Many harmful chemicals emanating from tobacco smoke and marijuana are prompted by the alcohol to hurt the upper digestive tract. Moreover, alcohol weakens the body’s immune system and its capacity to resist some harmful chemicals.

•    Alcohol effects on digestive system

Alcohol is known to weaken the body’s ability to absorb nutritious values from several food items. For example, drinking excess of alcohol lowers the supply of folate in the body that may boost up the risks of colorectal cancer and breast cancer. Similarly, the digestive systems of alcoholic people find it a bit hard to absorb vitamins and minerals inherent in the foods.

•    Alcohol disturbs hormone balance:

Excess of alcohol drinking can disturb the levels of estrogen as well as other hormones, a condition that can hamper the natural growth of the body. The development of body tissues is also affected by the spirit.

•    Avoid alcohol in pregnancy

If a pregnant woman takes alcohol regularly, then it can increase the chances of miscarriage, immature birth and unhealthy baby. Moreover, the absence of alcohol treatment and maternity support could put the health of the baby in danger.

•    Alcohol affects body weight

Excess intake of alcohol can make you obese as it adds extra calories to the diet. Moreover, overweight encourages certain health problems including cancer, high blood pressure and blood sugar.

Conclusion:

Those who think that alcohol is a part of modern lifestyle need to understand the fact that it’s a cause for cancer and many other health problems. Over indulging in alcohol does not serve any cause of human life; rather it poses new health challenges.

 

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Amelia Smith

Nutritionist, herbalist, health and medicine writer and yoga enthusiast, Amelia Smith, is a professional in the health, nutrition and diet industry.

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