You may have read studies about how alcohol can provide benefits, such as preventing Alzheimer’s and dementia. However, there’s also confusing research about how alcohol can damage our bodies.

Much of the inconsistency may have to do with how much alcohol is consumed and habits, which can worsen the negative effects.

In the journal Addiction, a study discovered that alcohol does not just have bad effects to the body, but may also be the cause behind not just one type of cancer, but seven different types namely:

  1. Mouth and throat
  2. Esophagus
  3. Bowel
  4. Breast
  5. Colon
  6. Liver
  7. Larynx

Who Are At Risk?

Just one glass is poison, according to the alarming study. Drinking one glass of alcohol a day can greatly increase the risk of cancer. The connection between alcohol and cancer is strongest in a person who drinks heavily. However, the study suggested that even those who are low or moderate drinkers are also at risk, particularly if drinking is habitual. In other words, there is no “safe” level when it comes to the link between drinking alcohol and cancer.

You might as well call "happy hour" "deadly hour"
You might as well call “happy hour” “deadly hour”

The Good vs. The Bad

Jennie Connor, the lead author of the study from the University of Otago in New Zealand, stated that there have been a number of other studies confirming the good benefits of alcohol. For instance, red wine is considered a heart-friendly alcoholic drink. However, such benefits become irrelevant when compared to how alcohol increases risk of various kinds of cancer. The risks though decrease significantly when people stop drinking.

According to the updated recommendations of the government, men should consume 14 units of alcohol every week and nothing more. Previously, this was 21 units more, which bring the recommendation equal to women. The study, on the other hand, showed that women who drink two units every day on a regular basis have more than 15% of increased risk of having breast cancer and could die from the disease. Five units a day of alcoholic drinks when consumed regularly can contribute to a 40% increased cancer risk in any of the seven mentioned sites.

For a thousand of women who don’t drink, there are about 109 who will still develop breast cancer, based on statistics. But 126 women out of the thousand who drink 14 to 35 units every week will develop the disease. There is still no solid reason why alcohol can cause cancer, but a theory surfaced that this is because it can damage the DNA.