For years, I was somewhat suspicious about the health claims touted by the alcohol industry; but I also believed it was no big deal if alcohol was consumed moderately. There was no science behind my beliefs at all. Perhaps I too was swayed by the Alcohol Industry’s marketing messages or maybe the fact that I was raised by parents who owned a bar.
However, I began to do more research on the topic while writing The “Plan A” Diet. I looked into many credible websites and studies. And what I discovered was that the Alcohol Industry (AI) has done a great job in keeping the public relatively ignorant, uncertain, and in denial about the “alcohol causes cancer” message.
Dr. Michael Greger has several videos on the topic of alcohol, but take a look at this one titled Can Alcohol Cause Cancer, Here are a few of the statistics/tidbits he shares:
- Even at low levels of consumption, alcohol increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, esophagus, colon, liver, larynx, and female breast (contributing to more than 100,000 cases of breast cancer each year).
- It also contributes to other cancers, such as pancreas, prostate, and melanoma.
- Alcohol is attributable to nearly 6% of all cancer deaths worldwide. (My note: This may not seem like much, but in the U.S. that would equate to over 10 million alcohol-related cancer diagnoses annually, resulting in over 3.5 million deaths.)
- It’s considered a highly intoxicating neurotoxin (poison) which can cause brain damage and aggression.
- Alcohol contributes to weight gain, even in moderate drinkers.
- It increases the levels of sex hormones. Even though a high fiber diet helps offset some of those effects by carrying excess estrogen out of the body, there does not appear to be any ‘safe’ level from a cancer standpoint.
- The AI manipulates the science in order to generate profit, often denying or distorting the evidence and distracting the public away from the harmful messages.
- The AI ironically contributes to cancer risk in the name of prevention! Consider Mike’s Hard Pink Lemonade, complete with pink carcinogens and a ribbon on the carton.
- Why aren’t doctors informing their patients about these risks? One reason is that most are drinkers themselves.
- And because doctors ignore the evidence, alcohol is one of cancer’s best kept secrets.
The bottom line was summarized in one research paper as this: The consumption of alcohol, an addictive carcinogen, cannot be a healthy lifestyle choice.
Here’s another article of interest stating that for women, having just one alcoholic drink per day increased the risk for alcohol-related cancers (mainly breast cancer) by 13 percent, compared with those who consumed no alcohol.
Based on the latest research, it would be irresponsible for me to condone even light or moderate drinking on a regular basis. There’s probably no harm in having an occasional drink at a wedding or a holiday celebration—that is your decision. But routine alcohol consumption, even at low levels, cannot be considered an acceptable part of a healthy diet.
Here’s a link to the article about alcohol as it appears in my book, where you can read more about the ties between AI and our government, and also how AI distorts the research to make alcohol appear healthy.
Please don’t shoot the messenger on this one, but please do consider the risk factors when making your choices.