Alcohol Causes Cancer in 7 sites of the body…and probably others…
Alcohol causes cancer was the conclusion of a study released in July, 2016 by Jennie Connor, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, New Zealand:
There is strong evidence that alcohol causes cancer at seven sites in the body and probably others
Listen to Dr. Jennie Connor, Chair in Preventive and Social Medicine at the University of Otago Medical School in Dunedin, New Zealand. She is a public health physician and epidemiologist, involved in teaching epidemiology, and in research about the health effects of alcohol, injury prevention, and sexual health. She has led two New Zealand studies on the health burden of alcohol in New Zealand, in collaboration with the Global Burden of Disease alcohol group, and is an advocate for evidence-based alcohol policy.
Points of Discussion with Dr. Connor:
- Methodology of the study commissioned by The Addiction Journal
- How it has been determined that alcohol is a cause of cancer
- The many ways alcohol contributes to disease/kills
- Effects of alcohol from the first drink, and continue with each drink
- Alcohol addictive and toxic, “even without getting drunk”
- Neurotoxic effects……effects in utero
- Cancers attributable to alcohol
- Breast cancer leads alcohol related cancer
- Heavy episodic drinking (binge drinking) and pancreatic cancer
- What guidelines for drinking really mean – there is no “safe” threshold
- “Moderation”…evidence does not support it…there is no definition
- Alcohol and hepatitis
- “Glass of wine a day”…not without a risk….but not improving health
- Head and neck, oral cancers from alcohol
- Smoking and alcohol and cancer
- Breakdown of alcohol to acetaldehyde
- “Moderation” encourages people to drink
- Alcohol in younger women and breast cancer
Cancer is thought to be only 8%-10% genetic. The remainder is thought to be exposures to mutagens in our lives. There are always exposures we are unaware of, however, there are numerous exposures that are within our control. The evidence of a causal role of alcohol in cancer is unfortunately smothered by the once thought protective effects of alcohol on cardiovascular disease.
The same, or similar, epidemiological studies also commonly report protection from cardiovascular disease associated with drinking but a high level of scepticism regarding these findings is now warranted.
And….I think its fair to say, most people do not want to accept the thought of alcohol causes cancer, and would much prefer to think of it having protective effects against CVD.
Denial is a psychological defense mechanism that helps a person avoid a potentially distressing truth.
This is about choices. Our bodies are regularly bombarded daily by mutagens, toxins, carcinogens, viruses and bacteria. Some of these we are aware of their risk, many are being studied, and some we are completely unaware of their potential health burden. It is our duty to be active participants in our health management.
Please make choices based on current scientific data.
Alcohol and Cancer – Statements from the National Institute of Health (NIH)
- Metabolizing (breaking down) ethanol in alcoholic drinks to acetaldehyde, which is a toxic chemical and a probable human carcinogen; acetaldehyde can damage both DNA and proteins
- Oxidative Stress: Another byproduct of ethanol metabolism – free radicals- reactive oxygen species, which can damage DNA, proteins, and lipids (fats) through oxidation.
- Impairing our ability to break down and absorb nutrients including vitamin A; B complex, such as folate; vitamin C; vitamin D; vitamin E; and carotenoids
increasing blood levels of estrogen linked to the risk of breast cancer
- Alcoholic beverages may also contain a variety of carcinogenic contaminants that are introduced during fermentation and production, such as nitrosamines, asbestos fibers, phenols, and hydrocarbons.
- There are several mechanisms by which alcohol impedes immune function, including blocking neutrophil action
Other Carcinogenic Chemicals in Wine:
- Pesticide Action Network (PAN)(Europe)….pesticide residues in European wine…glyphosphate – the chemical found in Monsanto’s Roundup
- University of Washington study tested 65 wines from America’s top four wine-producing states — California, Washington, New York and Oregon — found all but one have arsenic levels that exceed what’s allowed in drinking water.
- Reported in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association: “findings from the Nurses’ Health Study exploring the relationship between alcohol consumption and breast cancer risk. The authors’ principal findings were that the cumulative amount of alcohol a woman consumes during adulthood is the best predictor of her breast cancer risk and that low levels of alcohol consumption (as few as 3 drinks a week) are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. ” Author Dr. Steven Narod, referred to alcohol as a “third breast carcinogen.” Alcohol followed on his short list only after ionizing radiation and hormone therapy.
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Shira Litwack, Medical fitness professional |Cancer Exercise Specialist|Personal & Corporate Health Coach | Fitness For Disease Recovery| Industry Expert Cancer Exercise| Health and Fitness Professionals’ Educator
Director of International Relations Cancer Exercise Training Institute Master Trainer
Radio talk show host/Guest/Producer Health & Fitness Radio
BSc Psychology & Chemistry| Medical Exercise Specialist|Holistic Nutrition| Addiction Recovery|Total of 18 exercise designations