Wellhealthorganic.Com:Alcohol-Consumption-Good-For-Heart-Health-New-Study-Says-No: The risks and harms associated with alcohol use have been systematically evaluated over the years and are well documented. The World Health Organization has now published a statement in The Lancet Public Health: When it comes to alcohol consumption, there is no safe amount that does not affect health.
It is the alcohol that causes harm, not the beverage
Alcohol is a toxic, psychoactive, and dependence-producing substance and has been classified as a Group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer decades ago; this is the highest risk group,
which also includes asbestos, radiation, and tobacco. Alcohol causes at least seven types of cancer, including the most common types of cancer, such as bowel cancer and female breast cancer.
Ethanol (alcohol) causes cancer through biological mechanisms as the compound is broken down in the body, which means that any beverage containing alcohol, regardless of price and quality, poses a risk of developing cancer.
The risk of developing cancer increases substantially the more alcohol is consumed. However, the latest available data indicate that half of all alcohol-attributable cancers in the WHO European Region are caused by “light” and “moderate” alcohol consumption: less than 1.5 liters of wine or less of 3.5 liters of beer or less than 450 milliliters. of spirits per week.
Is Light Drinking Good For Heart Health? New Study Says ‘No’
Several studies have shown that heavy drinkers are at increased risk of heart failure, high blood pressure, heart attack, arrhythmias, stroke, and death.
Light alcohol consumption, on the other hand, has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. But a large study has challenged this theory.
The study, recently published in JAMA Network Open, found that alcohol consumption at all levels is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Based on the findings, the research team from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard suggested that the purported heart benefits of alcohol consumption may actually be attributable to other lifestyle factors that they are common among light to moderate drinkers.
Light To Moderate Drinkers Tend To Have Healthier Lifestyles
As with previous studies, the team found that light to moderate drinkers had the lowest risk of heart disease, followed by people who abstained from drinking. Heavy drinkers were at the highest risk.
However, they also found that light to moderate drinkers tended to have healthier lifestyles than teetotalers, such as more physical activity, higher vegetable intake and less smoking, which likely contributed to better heart health.
When some lifestyle factors were considered, the benefits associated with alcohol consumption were significantly reduced. In addition, genetic data based on “nonlinear Mendelian randomisation” in this same population indicated that all levels of alcohol consumption are associated with increased cardiovascular risk.
Risks Start From The First Drop
To identify a “safe” level of alcohol consumption, valid scientific evidence would be needed to show that at and below a certain level, there is no risk of disease or injury associated with alcohol consumption.
The new WHO statement clarifies: the currently available evidence cannot indicate the existence of a threshold at which the carcinogenic effects of alcohol “turn on” and begin to manifest themselves in the human body.
Furthermore, no studies are showing that the potential beneficial effects of light and moderate alcohol consumption on cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes outweigh the cancer risk associated with these same levels of alcohol consumption for individual consumers.
“The possible protective effects of alcohol consumption, suggested by some studies, are closely related to the comparison groups chosen and the statistical methods used, and may not take other relevant factors into account,” clarifies Dr. Jürgen Rehm, a member of the WHO Regional Director for Europe.
Council on Noncommunicable Diseases and Principal Scientist for the Institute for Mental Health Policy Research and the Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Canada.
We are missing the bigger picture
Globally, the WHO European Region has the highest level of alcohol consumption and the highest proportion of drinkers in the population. Here, more than 200 million people in the Region are at risk of developing cancer attributable to alcohol.
Disadvantaged and vulnerable populations have higher rates of alcohol-related death and hospitalization, as the harms of a given quantity and pattern of consumption are greater for the poorest drinkers and their families than for the wealthiest drinkers in any given society .
Therefore, when we talk about the so-called safer levels of alcohol consumption or its protective effects, we are ignoring the broader picture of alcohol harm in our Region and in the world. Although it is well established that alcohol can cause cancer