A new survey has shown that people who abstain completely from alcoholic drinks are more prone to Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancers that are likely to kill them prematurely.
According to the survey conducted by researchers from the Queen’s University Belfast, those who engage in light drinking of averagely less than a drink a day across their lifetime are less prone to premature death caused by cancer
However, heavy drinkers who take about three alcoholic drinks and more on a daily basis are 20% prone to premature death.
Dr. Andrew Kunzmann and colleagues of the university found this after gathering health survey data on almost 100,000 US adults aged 55 to 74 in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial for an average of about nine years.
He is quoted as saying: “The evidence from cancer research gives a different impression – even light to moderate alcohol consumption is linked with an increased risk of cancer.
”These differences have led to confusing public health messages about the health impacts of light to moderate alcohol consumption and what counts as drinking in moderation.”
As to how his team came to the conclusion as published in the PLOS Medicine, Dr. Kunzmann explained: “To help give a clearer message, we decided to assess both cancer and mortality outcomes together, using the same methods and same population, to see what the overall link between alcohol and these major outcomes are.”
Simply, the researchers have recommended that taking not more than one alcoholic drink a day is likely to protect people against cancer and its associated premature death.
However, excessive drinking is also risky, obviously riskier than abstaining from it completely, but both expose you to premature death anyway.
“The lowest risk was apparent in people drinking less than seven alcoholic drinks per week, less than one drink per day – where one drink equates to about the units found in a medium strength bottle of beer – compared to never drinkers or heavier drinkers.
“Heavier drinkers who drank more than three drinks per day were at a 20 per cent higher risk of getting cancer or dying prematurely than light drinkers” Dr. Kunzmann added.
Fearing that the report may be challenged or people may take it as a license to engage in drinking, he warned: “Drinking alcohol is a personal choice and it is not our aim to tell people whether they can or can’t drink. Decapitated cat in school playground could be 400th victim of Croydon cat killer.
“The aim of this study is to provide robust evidence so that people can make informed, healthy decisions about their alcohol intake.
“We urge caution in interpreting the results comparing light drinkers to lifetime teetotallers, though, as the reasons for the reduced risk of cancer or early death in light drinkers are still being debated by scientists.
“It has been suggested light drinking may have beneficial effects on heart health, though this has not yet been proven.
“Light drinkers may also be at a lower risk of premature death as they tend to be wealthier, so may have better access to healthcare and may follow other healthier lifestyle behaviours, such as being more physically active.”