Cancer & Alcohol
In 2005, our cancer research for a family member was based on a discovery by Dr. Otto Warburg, for which he received the Nobel Prize in 1931. His discovery showed, “that cancerous cells can live and develop, even in the absence of oxygen.” We used his discovery as the foundation of Our Approach to Fighting Cancer. Because alcohol is extremely acidic and cancer thrives in acidic environment, we knew that alcohol was really bad for cancer patients, but we didn’t know in 2004 that alcohol could cause cancer. However, we extrapolated at the time that in order to treat cancer, alcohol needs to be removed from the diet completely.
That was 2005. In 2022, we found numerous studies conducted from the following reputable sources that clearly state that alcohol can not only cause cancer, it can also cause heart disease and many other noncommunicable diseases. In addition, even a “moderate” amount of alcohol can adversely affect nearly every part of the brain.
|Highlights from the Following Studies
The above studies came to the following conclusions about the alcohol’s role in heart disease, brain health, and cancer.
Here are some additional details that shed more light on the subject.
2022: The World Health Federation Policy
Published: January 20, 2022
World Health Federation (WHF) Policy: The Impact Of Alcohol Consumption On Cardiovascular Health
- In a new policy brief, the World Heart Federation (WHF) is challenging the widespread notion that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol can decrease the risk of heart disease, and calling for urgent and decisive action to tackle the unprecedented rise in alcohol-related death and disability worldwide.
- In 2019, more than 2.4 million people died because of alcohol, accounting for 4.3% of all deaths globally and 12.6% of deaths in men aged 15 to 49.
- The evidence is clear: any level of alcohol consumption can lead to loss of healthy life.
- “The portrayal of alcohol as necessary for a vibrant social life has diverted attention from the harms of alcohol use, as have the frequent and widely publicised claims that moderate drinking, such as a glass of red wine a day, can offer protection against cardiovascular disease.” said Monika Arora, Member of the WHF Advocacy Committee and co-author of the brief. “These claims are at best misinformed and at worst an attempt by the alcohol industry to mislead the public about the danger of their product.”
WebMD: No Amount of Alcohol Safe for the Heart, Federation Says
- Based on their summary of the evidence, to date, there is no reliable correlation between moderate alcohol consumption and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Even small amounts of alcohol have been shown to raise the risk of cardiovascular disease, including coronary disease, stroke, heart failure, hypertensive heart disease, cardiomyopathy, atrial fibrillation, and aneurysm.
2021: Oxford University Study
Published: May 12, 2021
Oxford University Study: No safe level of alcohol consumption for brain health
Forbes.com: Study: No Amount Of Drinking Alcohol Is Safe For Brain Health
- The study was conducted by researchers with expertise in population health, psychiatry, and clinical neuroscience.
- No amount of drinking alcohol is safe for brain function, according to brain imaging data.
- Moderate consumption is associated with more widespread adverse effects on the brain than previously recognized.
- Researchers did not find any difference on the impact of drinking between types of liquor, such as wine versus beer or spirits.
- Researchers addressed the popular notion that wine is considered healthier than liquor. “We found no evidence to suggest alcoholic beverage type confers differences in risks to the brain,” researchers write. “This supports the hypothesis that it is ethanol itself, rather than other compounds in the beverage, that is on the biological pathway to damage.”
The Guardian, UK: Any amount of alcohol consumption harmful to the brain, finds study
- There is no safe amount of alcohol consumption for the brain, with even “moderate” drinking adversely affecting nearly every part of it, a study of more than 25,000 people in the UK has found.
2018: The “Global Burden of Disease” Study
Published: August 23, 2018
The Lancet Medical Journal: Alcohol use and burden for 195 countries and territories, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016
BBC News: No alcohol safe to drink, global study confirms
- The Global Burden of Disease study looked at levels of alcohol use and its health effects in 195 countries, including the UK, between 1990 and 2016.
- The lead author of the study Dr Max Griswold, at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), University of Washington, said: “Previous studies have found a protective effect of alcohol on some conditions, but we found that the combined health risks associated with alcohol increases with any amount of alcohol.”
- “The strong association between alcohol consumption and the risk of cancer, injuries, and infectious diseases offset the protective effects for heart disease in our study.”
NPR.org: No Amount of Alcohol is Good For Your Health, Global Study Says
- No amount of alcohol is safe, according to The Global Burden of Diseases study, which analyzed levels of alcohol use and its health effects in 195 countries from 1990 to 2016.
- For younger people, the three leading causes of death linked to alcohol use were tuberculosis, road injuries and self-harm, according to the study. Drinking alcohol was also a leading cause of cancer for people older than 50.
2017: American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Statement
Published: November 17, 2017
Journal of Clinical Oncology: Alcohol and Cancer: A Statement of the American Society of Clinical Oncology
- Worldwide, alcohol-related cancers are estimated to be 5.5% of all cancers treated annually, which represents a large number of patients.
- A World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) report judged the evidence to be convincing that drinking alcohol was a cause of cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, breast, and colorectum (in men). Also, alcohol was judged to be a probable cause of increased risk of liver cancer and colorectal cancer (in women).
2015: International Journal of Cancer
Published: October 11, 2015
International Journal of Cancer: Cancer incidence and mortality attributable to alcohol consumption
- Alcohol consumption is a major cause of disease and death. In 2012, 5.5% of all new cancer occurrences and 5.8% of all cancer deaths worldwide were estimated to be attributable to alcohol.
2014: World Health Organization (WHO)
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of World Health Organization (W.H.O.): World Cancer Report 2014
- “The association between alcohol consumption and risk of cancer was known as early as the beginning of the 20th century.”
- After several thousand analytical studies, alcoholic beverages were declared “carcinogenic to humans” (Group 1) by the IARC Monographs Programme, first in 1988 and then again in 2007 and in 2010.
- “Tumour types caused by drinking alcoholic beverages include cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver, colorectum, and female breast.”
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