According to a new report, any amount of alcohol consumption is bad news for your health, which is probably not the news you wanted to read of a Tuesday after the bank holiday.
According to the latest World Cancer report from the WHO, even those who are labelled ’light drinkers’ are not able to escape some repercussions, as an analysis of over 200 previous studies that included 92,000 light drinkers showed a higher risk for "oropharyngeal cancer, esophageal sqamous cell carcinoma and female breast cancer." There is a caveat with those stats, however, as it seems that they are based on self-reporting how much you were drinking, and as any repentant hangover sufferer knows on a Sunday morning, those numbers tend to be a little bit lower than the truth.
That’s not all that the report had in the way of bad news for drinkers however, as it turns out that a "causal relationship exists between alcohol consumption and cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colon-rectum, liver, and female breast; a significant relationship also exists between alcohol consumption and pancreatic cancer. Links have also been made between alcohol consumption and leukemia; multiple myeloma; and cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, and skin." That's a pretty long list, but there's more to come.
For those who enjoy a snifter of port from time to time, you aren't getting away scot(ch) free either. When it comes to esophageal cancer, spirits tend to have a high concentration of ethanol, which is not good for you and can case damage to the cilia that coat the esophagus.
However, while this study makes for some grim reading, there are similarly a whole heap of studies that show the benefits of having a glass of red wine on a regular basis, or that beer is actually good for you too (great news), and evidence that alcohol of any type an help to increase the amount of good cholesterol in your body, so sticking to the old ’everything in moderation’ maxim is probably a pretty good course of action.