The consumption of alcoholic beverages has been a common practice of human cultures for centuries. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies chemicals and agents for their ability to cause cancer (i.e. carcinogenicity). This agency has classified that alcoholic beverages can cause some types of in humans. In addition, the IARC has also classified ethanol (the main ingredient in alcoholic drinks), and ace cancer aldehyde (derived from ethanol), as a group 1 human carcinogens.

Alcohol is made by a process called fermentation in which microbes such as yeasts react with sugars found in fruits and grains to form carbon dioxide and ethanol. Depending on the starting ingredients, ending with a specific type of alcoholic or another drink, for example, wine and cider are made from the fermentation of grapes and other fruits, while beer and liquor fermentation Grains, herbs and other plants. Follow More post from my blog such as getting addicted to alchohol.
In addition to ethanol and water, and depending on the type of beverage, it may also contain other ingredients that may include:

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  •  Health benefits (for example, flavonoids, resveratrol, etc.)

  • Health risk (e.g. nitrosamines in beer, or metals such as lead in wine)

Although in general, the content or concentration of these other ingredients in alcoholic beverages is very low and is not believed to be harmful to the health if you drink in moderation.

  • Alcoholic Beverages and Cancer

Now I’m going to tell you about the health effects of alcoholic drinks. In particular, I will focus on what we know about alcohol consumption and the risk of cancer in humans.

  • Head and Neck Cancers

There is consistent evidence that excessive drinking is associated with an increased risk of cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx. Evidence suggests that people who regularly consume 3 to 4 drinks a day (equivalent to 50 grams of ethanol) are about 3 times more likely to have these cancers than non-drinkers.

In fact, 1 in 3 cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx can be avoided simply by the fact of not drinking alcohol excessively. And that without taking into account the tobacco! Because for these cancers, the risk is multiplied if snuff (remember that smoking is also a major cause of cancer).

Additionally, laryngeal cancers and squamous cell cancer are also associated with alcohol. These types of cancer increase in people who regularly consume 3 or 4 drinks a day, being the risk 2 times greater than in non-drinkers.

  • Breast Cancer

Women who regularly consume between 3 and 4 drinks per day (50 grams of ethanol) have a high risk of breast cancer approximately 50% higher than non-drinkers. And most importantly, the risk of breast cancer remains high (about 10%) in women who consume one or two drinks per day (between 18 grams and 50 grams of ethanol per day) compared to non-drinkers. This is the main reason for breast cancer, hence, it is recommended that women should not consume more than one alcoholic drink per day. Although the best thing to prevent it is not to drink at all.

  • Other Cancers and Health Problems

In addition to the aforementioned types of cancer, alcohol consumption has also been associated with liver cancer and colorectal cancer. There is also some recent evidence that excessive drinking can increase the risk of stomach cancer and pancreas. I would remember that, in addition to cancer, alcohol is a major cause of cirrhosis in chronic drinkers, not to mention the impact on health and social consequences of the alcoholism, and traffic fatalities.

And lastly, I would like to comment on the usual weekend drunks, in which some people can drink large amounts of alcohol for a short period of time (1-2 nights) repeatedly, but during the week they do not drink. This type of alcohol consumption is more common among younger people. Available data from studies of this type of behavior suggest that it may also have negative health consequences. Some studies in adults suggest that they may be associated with some of the cancers mentioned above, but there are still very few studies to draw firm conclusions. Apart from cancer, undoubtedly weekend drunkenness can lead to serious injuries from falls, aggressive behavior, and traffic accidents.

  • So if you drink, how much is safe?

Although researchers have made connections between alcohol intake and certain types of cancer and other health and social problems, there is evidence that moderate alcohol consumption is linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

For moderate intake, I mean:

 No more than 1 drink per day for women, and not more than 2 drinks per day for men.

Sounds reasonable, does not it? Although the best way to prevent cancer is not to drink at all … Although I know that the message about the risks and benefits of alcohol consumption can be a bit confusing, the most important thing to remember is that if you’re going to drink, do it in moderation.

Hope this helps, and remember: no one will take control of your health or save you!