Tag Archives: A Glass of wine a day

Breast Cancer Awareness = Alcohol Awareness

Breast Cancer Awareness Necessitates Facing the Realities of Alcohol

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. The truth is drinking alcohol is a game of Russian Roulette for breast cancer.

Fuel to the fire, alcohol to estrogen..… Alcohol is a cause of breast cancer. There is no such thing as a little poison, poison in moderation. Poison is poison. Alcohol is NOT our friend. One in eight women will get breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Awareness:

All major cancer institutions agree – the 3 most influential lifestyle choices paramount to maintaining breast health are:

  • controlling body fat level
  • limiting alcohol
  • Being physically active

They are all important – being vigilant about 2, does not ease the burden of onus on the  third.  All 3  of these lifestyle factors have a common theme – they all either add to the estrogen load, or estrogen exposure (body fat and alcohol) or they ease the hormonal strain from estrogen (physical activity).

Women who are carriers of any of the inherited defective genes, BRCA, PALB2, HBOC… have a greater risk of developing breast cancer. Minimizing, even better eliminating alcohol would be an  outstanding prophylactic choice. Alcohol is also associated with an increased risk of recurrence of breast cancer.

 

Shira Interviewed on Rehabilitative Medicine, Doctor Radio Sirius XM, Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2016

A few myths to dispel and annihilate immediately:

  • A glass of wine a day is NOT good for you – not for your heart, not for any part of you
  • The health effects of alcohol start with the very first glass
  • Alcohol does not reduce stress, it causes physiological stress, oxidative stress, inflammation, cellular dysfunction.

“Moderation”, social drinking, are vague concepts perpetuated by those marketing alcohol       ….they are not representative of guidelines supported by  health professionals.  These are concepts people want to believe, and many health professionals believe they encourage people to drink more. True breast cancer awareness means we cannot hang on to old myths but must heed to current scientific research.

One drink equals:

  • 12 ounces of beer
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.

The National Toxicology Program of the US Department of Health and Human Services lists consumption of alcoholic beverages as a known human carcinogen. In 1988, the IARC (International Agency for Cancer Research) declared alcohol a carcinogen

The fact is that alcohol is a contributing factor to all of our major illnesses…heart disease, at least 7 types of cancer, liver disease, obesity, mental health issues, immune dysfunction,  with inflammation being at the root cause. I feel compelled to mention here heart disease kills more women each year than breast cancer, in fact, more women than all cancers combined.

According to the CDC, alcohol costs  each year:

  • 88,000 lives. According to the American Journal of Public Health, 20,000 cancer deaths in the US per year are attributed to alcohol. 15% of those deaths were breast cancer. This equals 6,000 breast cancer deaths per year in the US attributable to alcohol. What is even more shocking, studies in New Zealand showed that the majority of women whose breast cancer was attributed to alcohol, drank no more than “a glass a day”. A real slap of breast cancer awareness!
  • $223 Billion Dollars: health care costs, lost productivity at work, motor vehicle accidents, criminal justice system
Breast Cancer Awareness - Alcohol and breast cancer Best In Health Radio
The Many Health Effects of Alcohol: An interview with Cardiologist Dr. Holly Andersen, Surgical Urologist Dr. Andrew Siegel, Psychiatrist Dr. Michael Diamond & Public Health Physician & Author of the July 2016 study “Alcohol Causes Cancer” on Best In Health Radio

In July 2016, New Zealand Public Health Physician and Epidemiologist Dr. Jennie Connor released an extensive study commissioned by the Center for Addiction. The study was a compilation of thousands of world wide meta analyses studying the relationship between alcohol and cancer. The conclusion was that alcohol causes cancer in at least 7 sites in the body. I have had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Connor twice. Once on her own, and the second time with a panel of 3 other health professionals I assembled, discussing the many health effects of alcohol: Dr. Holly Andersen, Cardiologist,  Dr. Michael Diamond Psychiatrist, & Dr. Andrew Siegel, Surgical Urologist.

Breast Cancer Awareness……..There are a number of ways in which it is thought that alcohol causes breast cancer.

  • Alcohol can increase levels of estrogen and other hormones associated with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer.
  • Girls aged 9 to 15 who drink three to five drinks a week have three times the risk of developing benign breast lumps,  which are associated with a higher risk  (500% higher risk) of breast cancer later in life. One particular of these studies from Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Dr Graham Colditz study author states ‘“If a female averages a drink per day between her first period and her first full-term pregnancy, she increases her risk of breast cancer by 13 percent”. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 40% of college age women admit to binge drinking…..those that admit.
  • Alcohol (ethanol) is converted into a toxic chemical called acetaldehyde in our body, damaging the DNA, in a number of possible ways and preventing cells from repairing this damage
  • Alcohol causes rapid regrowth of liver cells, which frequently have altered DNA
  • Alcohol is a solvent. When someone consumes alcohol and smokes they exponentially increase their risk for cancer as the alcohol enables the mutagenic chemicals in the tobacco to be better absorbed into the body
  • Alcohol is a cause of oxidative stress, producing ROS – Reactive Oxygen Species which alter the DNA
  • Alcohol encourages the body to store fat. It provides the body with almost  as many calories as fat, yet there is no benefit to the body, only burden. We know body fat cells can be thought of as active endocrine glands, secreting hormones upsetting hormonal balance. Hormonal balance is critical in disease prevention.
  • Still being studied…alcohol interferes with folate metabolism – which is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and cancer
  • As I try and mention in every article I write, our muscle mass is our BFF – Best Friend Forever – protecting us from illness in numerous ways, their great looks is merely a reward for good effort. Muscles are critical for immune function, sugar regulation, metabolism…just to name a few. Alcohol lowers testosterone levels (critical for both men and women to build muscle and as we mentioned earlier raises estrogen levels.  Alcoholic Myopathy – Alcohol destroys muscle mass AND interferes with protein synthesis, not allowing the body to build more muscle mass. In an alcohol free body – studies have shown us people have the ability to grow muscle mass well into their 90s. Alcohol also depletes the body of many vitamins and minerals critical to muscle growth.
  • Alcohol dehydrates, proven in numerous studies hydration is a key step in cancer prevention

Abstaining from alcohol for periods of time and binge drinking (defined as 4 or more glasses of alcohol per sitting (see measures of a glass above) is associated with pancreatic cancer.

A glass of wine a day is not good for the heart. According to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 500mg of Resveratrol ( used as the rationalization that wine is healthy) are necessary to provide health benefits. A glass of red wine has 12.5mg of resveratrol. To meet the potential health benefits of resveratrol would require drinking 40 litres of wine per day. Older studies which tried to claim that a glass of wine a day was good for you have been dissected, proving what was thought as a benefit of the alcohol, has been attributed to other factors, not the alcohol. The scientific methods in these studies was painfully loose. I think we can all think of a number of heart smart activities!

The bottom line is: Alcohol is a carcinogen and increases our risk of cancer, especially breast cancer. Breast Cancer awareness necessitates accepting the realities of alcohol on breast cancer. It increases our risk of most chronic diseases. We can still engage in the many social aspects of drinking alcohol, we can substitute the alcohol with other choices…….save our money and our health!

Shira Litwack Medical fitness, Corporate wellness, Radio talk show host
Shira Litwack Medical Fitness Professional, Cancer Exercise Specialist , Corporate wellness Provider Industry expert cancer exercise
Radio talk show host
Health & Fitness Educator

Shira Litwack – founder Best In Health Radio & proudly speaker at the International Breast Cancer Rehabilitation Summit December 2016:

Corporate Health Programs – What an Incredible Way to Make the World A Healthier Happier Place…..so we make them affordable to EVERYONE……Shira@BestInHealthRadio.com

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

Articles featured in: ezines, ArticlesInk, European Registry of Exercise Professionals, The National Post, Investment Executive Magazine, Directory of Greater Toronto, Canadian Leukemia & Lymphoma Association, Prostate Cancer Canada, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Anytime Fitness, Today’s Black Woman, Today’s Seniors, Fitness Clubs of Canada, Medical Fitness Network, Recovery on Water, Willow (Breast Cancer), Sirius XM Doctor Radio, FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), Cancer Exercise Training Institute,  Urban Poling for Breast Cancer Recovery,

Alcohol Causes Cancer: Doubt Protection from CVD

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.

Alcohol causes cancer Best in Health RadioThis 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.
Shira Litwack Medical fitness, Corporate wellness, Radio talk show host
Shira Litwack Medical Fitness Professional, Cancer Exercise Specialist , Corporate wellness Provider Industry expert cancer exercise
Radio talk show host

Corporate Health Programs – What an Incredible Way to Make the World A Healthier Happier Place…..so we make them affordable to EVERYONE……Shira@BestInHealthRadio.com

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

Shira@BestInHealthRadio.com

Contact: Shira@BestInHealthRadio.com