Moderate Drinking Linked to Increased Cancer Risk

Despite recommendations that moderate wine drinking is good for the heart, a new study revealed that even moderate drinking, just 1.5 drinks per day, “is a major factor in cancer deaths, causing years of life lost to illness.”

“Breast cancer was the most common form of alcohol-attributable cancer deaths in women, accounting for approximately 6,000 deaths annually, or about 15 percent of all breast cancer deaths. Cancers of the mouth, throat and esophagus were common forms of alcohol-related cancer mortality in men, resulting in a total of about 6,000 annual deaths.

The researchers also found that each alcohol-related cancer death accounted for an average of 18 years of potential life lost. In addition, although higher levels of alcohol consumption led to a higher cancer risk, average consumption of 1.5 drinks per day or less accounted for 30 percent of all alcohol-attributable cancer deaths.”

What does this mean for you?

Well, it means you get to make a decision about your health and what you value more. While drinking can be enjoyable, relaxing, and tasty (I’m not really helping the cause here), this study really shines a light the true hazards of alcohol. The study also states that consuming alcohol is more hazardous for women. Don’t we ever get to have more fun? Alas, alcohol is made through a process of fermenting sucrose. So could one say that sugar leads to increased cancer risks? That is quite possible. But in the meantime, I’d recommend just drinking less, perhaps 1 drink per week or finding alternative non-alcoholic drinks. My particular favorite outing drink is sparkling or tonic water with a splash of cranberry and lime. At home, .5 teaspoons of stevia mixed with sparking mineral water and 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cranberry juice is my go to drink.

Alcohol-Attributable Cancer Deaths and Years of Potential Life Lost in the United States
David E. Nelson, Dwayne W. Jarman, Jürgen Rehm, Thomas K. Greenfield, Grégoire Rey, William C. Kerr, Paige Miller, Kevin D. Shield, Yu Ye, and Timothy S. Naimi
American Journal of Public Health 0 0:0, e1-e8


YGL staff