Alcohol Consumption above Recommended Standard Raises Cancer RiskApr 8th, 2011 | By Eve Walston | Category: Featured News, Health
If certain regulations do not make you think twice before you consume alcohol heavily, maybe the fact that one too many drinks can increase the risk of cancer will. A recent study suggests that drinking more than a pint of beer every day substantially increases the risk of developing cancer.
Based on the analysis of 363,988 people, the Europe-wide study has been published in the British Medical Journal and it reports that past or current alcohol intake caused one in 10 of all cancers in men and one in 33 in women. In addition to this, more than 18 percent of alcohol-related cancers in men and about 4% in women were associated with excessive drinking.
The findings come to further convince the Department of Health that action must be taken in order to reduce alcohol consumption. If self-conscience doesn’t help people be more careful and responsible in this respect, maybe statistics will be more convincing seeing that in 2008 current and past drinking habits caused about 13,000 cancer cases in the UK, out of a total of 304,000 cases.
After being absorbed, alcohol is broken down by the body and produces a chemical which can damage DNA, increasing the chance of developing cancer of the oesophagus, liver, bowel and female breast. The latest research indicates that more than two standard drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women considerably raise the risk of alcohol-related cancers. As for the standard drink, it contains about 12g of alcohol, which represents the equivalent of a 125ml glass of wine or a half pint of beer. Being given the data provided by the study, the NHS might want to consider its yet too loose guidelines, according to which men should drink no more than three to four units a day while women should not go above two to three units a day.
The results of the study were gathered by the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer after following 363,988 men and women in eight European countries aged between 35 and 70. The focus of the researchers was put on France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Greece, Germany, Denmark and the UK.
Concluding on the matter, Madlen Schutze, lead researcher and study author, from the German Institute of Human Nutrition, said that limiting alcohol consumption was the best way to avoid many cancer cases. She then added: “And even more cancer cases would be prevented if people reduced their alcohol intake to below recommended guidelines or stopped drinking alcohol at all.”