We have all heard that drinking wine can have some amazing health benefits. Every few months a news story breaks encouraging us to drink up! Wine lowers your risk of heart disease, reduces your chance of a heart attack and reduces risk of type 2 diabetes and stroke. This must mean that all alcohol is good for you so you should just drink from the bottle, right? Wrong.
According to a new analysis, drinking alcohol is the direct cause of seven different types of cancers, and the more you drink, the more at risk you are. So, sure. Drinking a glass of wine may be the equivalent of working out for an hour, but you're not going to be working out much if you die from liver cancer.
The author of the analysis, Jennie Conner, is an author and professor of epidemiology at Otago University in New Zealand. In her analysis published on July 21st in the scientific journal,Addiction, Connor found that there is strong evidence that suggests the consumption of alcohol causes liver, colon, rectum, esophagus, larynx, pharynx and female breast cancer.
She wrote, "There is no argument, on current evidence, for a safe level of drinking with respect to cancer."
She based her conclusions on research conducted by groups like the World Cancer Research Fund and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. In 2013, the agency also published a paper showing the link between alcohol and the seven types of cancer in the journal Future Oncology.
The authors wrote, "Alcohol consumption is one of the most important known risk factors for human cancer and potentially one of the most avoidable factors, but it is increasing worldwide."
5. So, What You're Saying Is...Drinking Will Kill Me?
According to a group of scientists from the U.S., Canada and Italy, around 5.8 percent of total cancer-related deaths were caused by alcohol in 2012. I know, I too liked the whole idea that wine keeps you healthy so much better.
Alcohol producers in the United States are not having it. After reading the analysis, Sam Zakhari, SVP of Scientific Affairs for the Distilled Spirits Council, a national trade group, said in an emailed statement:
"To declare that alcohol definitively causes cancer based upon cherry-picked epidemiology articles lacks scientific credibility... Cancer is a complex disease that is not yet entirely understood and requires more research."
Look, if you drink here and there, you aren't doomed to die tomorrow. And if you've had a wild ride so far, according to the Addiction report, you may be able to reduce your risk of liver, laryngeal and pharyngeal cancers if you cut back.
So, remember that just because wine may decrease your risk of depression, it doesn't mean it can't kill you. Listen to all the facts, not just the ones you want to hear. Have fun, drink in moderation and instead of going for that third drink, grab a club soda instead. And a good tip: Don't keep alcohol in the house. Leave the drinking for going out and special occasions. Cheers. Actually, let's not drink right now.