In recent years there has been a lot of buzz about a possible link between moderate alcohol consumption and reduced risk of heart disease. A recent analysis published on BMJ reviewed 84 studies looking at the alcohol and heart connection. All in all, the data of more than two million men and women for an average of 11 years were examined, and the researchers did find a lower risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack deaths, heart or blood vessel disease and death from any cause in those with moderate alcohol consumption (no more than two drinks a day for a man or one for a woman). Despite these findings, doctors advise patients that if they don’t already drink there is no reason to start.
In fact, drinking more than moderate amounts of alcohol has been linked with an increase in cancers, according to research from the National Cancer Institute and other institutions. The most common alcohol related cancers were of the breast in women and of the mouth, throat and esophagus in men.
While the experts still aren’t completely sure how alcohol causes cancer they have outlined the following possibilities:
- Toxic effects of chemicals from the breakdown of alcohol
- Increased estrogen levels, which can increase the risk of cancers, especially breast cancers
- Increased production of free radicals
- Changes in the way the body handles Vitamin B6
- Exacerbated effects of other cancer causing agents, such as tobacco products
These and other studies and analyses indicate that alcohol can present serious risks when consumed in anything but moderate amounts. If you or a loved one has a problem with alcohol, there is no time to lose in getting help. Northbound Treatment Centers has a comprehensive program to help at its alcoholism treatment center. Our focus is on helping individuals develop healthy coping skills and regain their happiness. Visit our website for more information about our treatment options.