According to a study published in the British Medical Journal moderate drinking is not as healthy as it was previously believed. It seems that one or two drinks a day can increase the risk of developing breast cancer. The research was led by Yin Cao from Harvard’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.
The risk of developing breast cancer among women who drink alcohol moderately is average, but yet statistically significant. Unlike women who did not drink at all women who drank lightly to moderately had 13 percent more chances of developing alcohol-related cancers such as breast, throat, oral, esophagus, liver and colon cancer.
The research involved 136,000 participants who were monitored for up to 30 years. After this period the researchers noted that approximately 19.000 women and 7.600 men developed various types of cancer. They established that light drinking in the case of men was two drinks a day and one drink a day in the case of women. The scientists took into account the participant’s family history of cancer, smoking habits. Besides this they looked at factors like age, weight, diet, physical exercise and ethnicity.
The data used by the researchers came from two large US cohort studies: the Nurses’ Health Study from 1980 and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Stud that started in 1986 and lasted until 2010.
Besides the fact that the research indicates that light to moderate drinking was associated with a statistically significant risk of breast cancer it also suggests that unlike women who never smoked women who had a history of smoking or who were active smokers had even more chances of developing breast cancer.
According to Yin Cao the findings of this study reinforces the already well-known dietary guidelines according to which alcohol should be consumed in limited amounts.
Specifically for women, the potential modest elevated risk of alcohol-related cancers, primarily breast cancer, should also weigh against potential benefits on cardiovascular diseases.”
People who have a family history of cancer should especially avoid alcohol consumption and even refrain from drinking alcohol. The researchers recommend that having completely alcohol-free days is also healthy.
Image Source: cbswineblog.wordpress.com