A recent study conducted in Europe found that for regular drinkers, an extra drink increases overall cancer risk. The study does not prove that alcohol causes cancer. Alcohol is still a risk factor for cancer. This means that drinking alcohol will increase chances for cancer. Click here for the full article.
Alcohol breaks down the lining of the digestive tract and allows harmful chemicals (which can cause cancer) through. Excessive drinking can cause other health risks, such as alcohol poisoning, liver disease, stroke, cardiovascular problems, unintentional injuries, and many more.
However, many studies have linked MODERATE drinking to some possible health benefits. According to the brainiacs of Harvard, moderate amounts of alcohol raise levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good cholesterol”) and higher levels of HDL can help protect against heart disease.
So what’s a moderate amount? 1-2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women. And what’s considered to be 1 drink? 1 drink = 12 oz beer (1 can) or 5 oz wine (1 glass) or 1.5 oz hard alcohol (1 shot).
This does not mean that you need to start drinking, especially if you’re not 21 yet! Here are some CONSEQUENCES OF UNDERAGE DRINKING:
- Alcohol-related car crashes
- Disruption of normal growth and sexual development
- Memory problems
Youth who start drinking before age 15 years are five times more likely to develop alcohol dependence or abuse later in life than those who begin drinking at or after age 21 years (CDC). If you want to learn more about alcohol prevention and how to get involved, then check out Stop Underage Drinking.
For those who don’t drink or are not yet of age, don’t think you need to start just to protect your heart. Healthy eating and regular exercise will suffice.