Just three drinks a week can ‘drastically increase’ risk of multiple cancers, new study

Canadian experts have released new guidance on alcohol consumption after data emerged showing that three to six drinks of alcohol can carry a moderate risk of cancer for both men and women. According to a recent study, the risk of developing cancer can increase significantly if more or more alcohol is drunk each week. However, some experts believe the study could undermine some of the potential benefits of alcohol.

The latest results show that each additional drink “dramatically increases” the risk of health outcomes such as heart disease, cancer or stroke, according to Medscape.

Adam Shark, Ph.D., a scientist at the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, and a member of the scientific expert panel that developed the guidelines, told Medscape Medical News that alcohol may be more harmful to health. health than previously thought.

“Alcohol is more harmful than previously thought and is a key component of your patients’ health,” he said.

The Canadian guidance comes after data emerged showing that people who drink alcohol within previously recommended levels are harmful.

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It has been proven that alcohol can cause at least seven types of cancer, mostly of the breast or colon.

Alcohol consumption is also a risk factor for most types of heart disease and is the most important cause of liver disease.

The manual defines a “standard drink” as:

  • 12 ounces beer or cider (five percent alcohol)
  • Five ounces of wine (12 percent alcohol)
  • 1.5 ounces of spirits such as whiskey, vodka, or gin (40 percent alcohol).

In the UK, the NHS recommends no more than six ounce glasses of wine or six pints of 4% beer per week – ideally for three days or more.


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In addition to an increased risk of cancer, the Canadian Center for Substance Use and Addiction (GCSA) has identified the risk of injury and violence as an adverse effect associated with alcohol use.

Using different mortality risk thresholds, the project experts observed that the risk of cancer was low for people who consumed two standard drinks or less per week.

The risk was moderate for those who consumed three to six standard drinks per week.

What’s more, it was progressively higher for those who consumed seven or more standard drinks per week.

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Dr. Timothy Brennan, director of clinical services at the Mount Sinai Institute of Healthcare Addictions in New York, told Medscape: “It’s clear that alcohol affects different parts of our bodies, so limiting most of the alcohol we drink is always a good thing. be a good thing.”

However, the latest recommendations have been met with doubt by some experts who believe they undermine the potential benefits of alcohol consumption.

Dan Mallek, a professor of health sciences at Brock University, said: “This type of research often pushes other health and wellness considerations away from alcohol.”

The professor suggested that the latest recommendations could cause unreasonable concern for Canadians who once considered themselves moderate drinkers but now fall into the “high risk” category.

Professor Malleck added: “The study they use also ignored enjoyment and pleasure, stress relief and collegiality associated with alcohol.

“We are not just machines with input and output of chemicals or nutrition. We actually exist in a social space. And it has a significant impact on our health.”

Some previous research has indeed shown that moderate alcohol consumption may offer some cardiovascular health benefits.

As such, the Mayo Clinic suggests that it may “maybe” reduce “your risk of ischemic stroke (when the arteries leading to the brain become narrowed or blocked, causing a severe reduction in blood flow).”

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