Do you know about Dry January ?Have you ever participated in it?It involves cutting out the booze for 31 days. That’s outrageous? I get it, you’d rather spend a whole dry season in the Carrabean topping up your mojito & piña colada intake a few times a day, right? Me too, however…

 

It appears there is now a proven direct link between alcohol and certain cancers, especially of the respiratory and digestive systems, prostate, and female breast. It is being speculated that even low level drinking can increase the risk of some cancers. At the same time, there is a weakening of the evidence that there are health benefits to drinking alcohol.

This research published in the journal Alcohol was the product of a team of Brazilian scientists who used data from 203,506 people; men and women (average age 59). The scientists collected data from the Cancer Hospital Register of Brazil, where the participants were questioned on their alcohol consumption by Cancer registrars.

The researchers found a relationship between alcohol consumption and the following cancers: nasal cavity, oral cavity, larynx, lungs, oesophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas, breast, prostrate, colon, rectum, anus and anal canal. The sheer volume of these cancers is sobering in itself.

So, if you know you are drinking more than you should it is worth changing your habits.

How many alcohol units can we safely consume per week?

One unit is defined as 10ml (or 8g) of pure alcohol and according to the latest public health information based on Cancer Research UK,  both men and women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week, these units should be spread out through the week and they should have at least two alcohol-free days a week.

14 units is roughly a bottle and a half of wine or five strong pints of beer. 

But please bear in mind: 14 units per week should be understood as a limit, not a target!

As a rough guideline, almost any drink you might order at the bar contains more than 1 unit.

alcohol_units

Some would argue that the upper limits of the recommendations are too high. For example, one study found that drinking more than two units a day for men and more than one unit a day for women significantly increases the risk of developing certain cancers.

It is common sense that the more you drink, and especially above the recommended limits, the greater the risk of developing or experiencing serious problems such as:

  • Liver disease (cirrhosis or hepatitis)
  • Cancer
  • Gut and pancreas disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Muscle and heart muscle disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Damage to nervous tissue
  • Serious accidents
  • Obesity (alcohol is calorie-rich)

Sorry to spoil your fun! But let’s try some mocktails instead.

The mocktail revolution is growing as more restaurants adopt booze-free libations!

And according to Wall Street Journal, the only thing missing from these cocktails is the hangover!