Studies have been emerging for years linking alcohol to multiple health concerns, but for every study like this, there appears to be one more arguing that moderate alcohol consumption is not only fine, but can actually promote good health. These conflicting reports leave us with many questions. If there are any benefits to drinking actual, do they outweigh the harm it causes? How much alcohol is safe to drink? Or is alcohol more harmful than we’ve been led to believe? Having a glass of wine with dinner every night or enjoying a few drinks over the weekend is a normal part of our culture, but it may be time we start questioning these habits and look at the possible long term health effects.
A new study published in the journal Addiction has found “strong evidence” that alcohol causes cancer in several different places within the body, “and probably others” as well. The types of confirmed cancers listed in the study include liver, colon, rectum, female breast, larynx (throat organ), orolynx (behind the mouth), and esophagus.
The study emphasizes how firmly this link has been established already:
In the last decade there has been a proliferation of research literature, reviews and comment on the association of alcohol consumption with cancer. In some parts of the world the scientific consensus that alcohol causes cancer has already led to more explicit consideration of cancer risk in policy-making, and programmes to increase public knowledge of the risks.
It’s not just science that has people questioning alcohol, it’s those who have experienced this type of thing, and from various people all over the internet sharing their stories and own journey with regards to how they feel with it, and without it.
The pictures below are curtesy MirrorUK, they are all former drinkers who are sharing their candid before and after photos in their attempt to show you how damaging alcohol, and alcoholism can be to both your health and your looks.
The researchers from the study above the pictures also point out that current estimates of alcohol-attributable cancers make up 5.8 % of all cancer deaths worldwide. This may seem like a small sum until you consider the sheer number of people who die from cancer each year. Now think about all of the people who will have some form of cancer during their lifetime that don’t die. How many of those could be alcohol-induced?
For the study, researchers conducted a meta-analysis of every major study done over the last decade on alcohol and cancer. The drew upon research from major institutions like the American Institute for Cancer Research and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, as well as independent studies.
Jennie Conor, lead researcher of the study and the chair in preventive and social medicine at the University of Otago, explained that while many of these studies drew links between alcohol and cancer, she and her team wanted to see if there was definitive causal link between the two.
The Risks Are Reversible
Fortunately, the risks associated with drinking alcohol are reversible. For example, a recent review of the risk of laryngeal and pharyngeal cancers after quitting saw a reduction of 15 percent of the excess risk in 5 years. Evidence of reversibility has also been found in liver cancer, among others.
How Much is Too Much?
Connor told CTV News that there “doesn’t seem to be any threshold below which drinking is actually safe with respect to cancer.” “So the straightforward obvious answer to your question is that no alcohol is safe, and any alcohol increases your risk of some types of cancer,” she elaborated.
A broad study conducted in the UK called The Million Women Study has arrived at similar conclusions. They found that, during 7 years of follow-up, a 5 percent increase in total cancer was seen in women who drank between 70 and 140g of alcohol per week compared with those who drank less than 20g per week. They also saw a 13 percent increase in breast cancer. (source)
And in 2013, a meta-analysis found that even light drinkers still faced an increased risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, oesophagus, and breast (but not colorectal, liver, or laryngeal cancers.) (source)
Large cohort studies have also found that, for women in particular, light to moderate alcohol consumption increases the risk of developing alcohol-related cancers. This includes breast cancer especially. (source)
Given all the evidence, it seems clear that anyone serious about protecting their health and well-being should consider cutting out alcohol.
The Side of Alcohol Addiction That Nobody Ever Talks About
As mentioned earlier, drinking alcohol on a regular basis has become the norm. What has led people to believe that it’s okay to drink a beer every night? Or to become intoxicated every single weekend? Is this the product of mass marketing?
Why do some feel bored, or feel as if they cannot go without the substance in order to have a good time?
Certainly drinking and socializing have become inseparable, to the point where you will be met with confused stares and even teasing if you choose to abstain at a gathering where others are drinking. Why is this so? And how have we come to believe that putting something so toxic into our bodies is okay? It’s important we start to address the underlying issues that motivate people to consume these substances. In some cases, it could simply be ignorance of the dangers, but in others, it may be a coping mechanism, a way of escaping unhappiness or other personal issues.
While one could make the case that the mind-body connection can overcome anything, and this is why some people who smoke and drink all of their lives live well into old age, this doesn’t hold true for everyone. The body is strong, and can deal with a lot of abuse, particularly if it’s healthy, but there is no doubt that alcohol consumption and other unhealthy habits are contributing to the rise in disease rates we’re seeing.
Are we at the point where most of us need to consume alcohol, or some other type of mind-altering substance, in order to enjoy our human experience? Have we become so numb and so dependent on these highs that our emotions and state of being cannot be at peace without them?
Definitely something to think about. If abstaining from substances you regularly use to feel different disrupts your inner peace, or impedes your ability to experience joy, then that it an issue you may need to address. These are not physical issues; they’re mental and emotional issues. Unfortunately, we grow up without being taught how to deal with these things, which could be why we turn to dangerous behaviours in the first place, while ignoring the harm we could be doing to ourselves.
Breakfast, blood sugar, & inflammation
Recent research has shown that Inflammation is responsible for 7 out of 10 Deaths in the United States. But it doesn’t have to be the same way for you.
In fact, in a fairly short amount of time, you could start to experience better sleep…less stomach issues…more energy and stamina…less muscle and joint pain…a drop in weight…lower stress levels…and much, much more!
Learn how to Prevent—Even Reverse—Most Major Diseases by “Turning Off” Inflammation!
Did you know that one of the best times to stretch is right before bed? However…
What stretches should you do? Here’s a 1-minute stretch routine you can do before bed...
Lisa, Yoga Coach
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody
...easy, 3-minute exercise that completely cured his horrendous snoring! We can both finally sleep!
Today is a good day. Tonight will be even better. Why?
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Did you know that your bodyfat can become "calorie-resistant"?
True. And it's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
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To your health!
PS - Studies show that it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.
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Over the past year, my friend Dave over at PaleoHacks has been working on a super secret cookbook project with our good friend Peter Servold a Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef and owner of Pete's Paleo...
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Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.