Confirmed: Alcohol Consumption Is Bad For You

Confirmed: Alcohol Consumption Is Bad For You | Spiro Health and Wellness
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A groundbreaking new study released just a few weeks ago confirms that even light to moderate alcohol consumption can wreak havoc on our health. This study, which spanned 11 years and evaluated over 130,000 set out to determine whether alcohol consumption increased the risk of cancer. 

As the study concluded, “Those who drank 2 drinks or fewer per day had elevated odds for overall cancer risk across all duration‐of‐drinking categories. The same patterns were observed at light to moderate levels of drinking for most gastrointestinal/aerodigestive cancers as well as breast and prostate cancers.”1https://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/cncr.32590?af=R 

This isn’t the first study of it’s kind. In fact, a number of other studies have linked alcohol consumption to various forms of cancer. 2Cao Y, Giovannucci EL. Alcohol as a Risk Factor for Cancer. Semin Oncol Nurs 2016;32:325-313Rehm J, Baliunas D, Borges GL, et al. The relation between different dimensions of alcohol consumption and burden of disease: an overview. Addiction 2010;105:817-43.Such as Colorectal cancer, which is associated with a 10-20% increased risk with consumption of 3-4 drinks daily. Breast cancer is also associated with a 7-10% increased risk for each 2/3 of a drink consumed daily.

The odds of Cancer of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx increase by a whopping 86% with less than 2 drinks daily. The odds go up 311% by drinking 3-4 drinks daily. Esophageal cancer risk, with less than 2 drinks, is increased by 39% and  3-4 drinks daily is associated with a 93% increased risk. Just 2 drinks per day increase liver cancer by 19% and 3-4 drinks daily increase risk by 40%. 

Though many studies about the impacts of alcohol are not widely circulated, the consequences are well documented. Alcohol consumption is linked with numerous health complications such as incontinence4Amaral MO, Coutinho EC, Nelas PA, Chaves CM, Duarte JC. Risk factors associated with urinary incontinence in Portugal and the quality of life of affected women. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 2015;131:82-6., pneumonia5Rehm J, Baliunas D, Borges GL, et al. The relation between different dimensions of alcohol consumption and burden of disease: an overview. Addiction 2010;105:817-43., insomnia6Angarita GA, Emadi N, Hodges S, Morgan PT. Sleep abnormalities associated with alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, and opiate use: a comprehensive review. Addict Sci Clin Pract 2016;11:9., heartburn7Bode C, Bode JC. Alcohol’s role in gastrointestinal tract disorders. Alcohol Health Res World 1997;21:76-83., and leaky gut8Bode C, Bode JC. Alcohol’s role in gastrointestinal tract disorders. Alcohol Health Res World 1997;21:76-83.

Studies also indicate that alcohol consumption has a big impact on cardiovascular health. In fact, it is associated with a 200% increase risk in Hemorrhagic stroke, high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems, and more.9Rehm J, Baliunas D, Borges GL, et al. The relation between different dimensions of alcohol consumption and burden of disease: an overview. Addiction 2010;105:817-43. It is clear from these studies that alcohol consumption should be avoided, even in moderation. The best alternative to an alcoholic beverage is water, but substituting alcohol for a healthier option such as Kombucha can be beneficial for people who take these studies to heart. For those who suffer from alcohol addiction, simply giving up alcohol for the health benefits may not be as easy as it seems. If you find yourself in this boat and are looking for help, I recommend using this locator to find an AA meeting near you.

References   [ + ]

1.https://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/cncr.32590?af=R
2.Cao Y, Giovannucci EL. Alcohol as a Risk Factor for Cancer. Semin Oncol Nurs 2016;32:325-31
3, 5, 9.Rehm J, Baliunas D, Borges GL, et al. The relation between different dimensions of alcohol consumption and burden of disease: an overview. Addiction 2010;105:817-43.
4.Amaral MO, Coutinho EC, Nelas PA, Chaves CM, Duarte JC. Risk factors associated with urinary incontinence in Portugal and the quality of life of affected women. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 2015;131:82-6.
6.Angarita GA, Emadi N, Hodges S, Morgan PT. Sleep abnormalities associated with alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, and opiate use: a comprehensive review. Addict Sci Clin Pract 2016;11:9.
7, 8.Bode C, Bode JC. Alcohol’s role in gastrointestinal tract disorders. Alcohol Health Res World 1997;21:76-83.

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