Raising a glass to cancer, heart disease or great health?

What if I told you that, even if you’re what’s considered a light drinker, each time you imbibe you’re a few steps closer to the grim reaper?

If you’re like me, you might be thinking to yourself, “No way! I may have a drink here and there but it’s not enough to hurt my health.”

After all, we’ve all heard the studies saying things like, “A glass of red wine is good for your heart.”

But one I read a few months ago published findings that said there was really no safe level of alcohol when it comes to your health. I was floored.

So, which is right?

Is alcohol good for you? Is drinking just a little safe, healthy — or will it kill you?

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Even light drinking raises your risk of death by 20%

The study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis analyzed data from more than 400,000 people ages 18 to 85. In other words this was a monster of a study with a huge amount of data.

And, here’s what they found…

Consuming one to two drinks four or more times per week (an amount deemed healthy by current guidelines and considered “light drinking”) increases your risk of premature death by 20 percent, compared with drinking three times a week or less.

And, it doesn’t matter what your age is – the increased risk of death was consistent across all age groups.

As the researchers pointed out… Although a 20 percent increased chance of dying is a scary statistic at any age, it’s a huge deal for upper age groups who already have a higher risk of death. A 20 percent risk increase at age 75 translates into many more deaths than it does at age 25.

Dying from Cancer Instead of Heart Disease

Also, since the researchers had heard that study on drinking being healthy for your heart, they specifically looked at that issue along with the effect alcohol has on your risk of cancer.

And, they discovered that:

  • Although in some cases, drinking alcohol may reduce risk of heart-related problems, daily drinking increased cancer risk and, as a result, mortality risk.
  • Consuming one or two drinks about four days per week seemed to protect against cardiovascular disease, but drinking every day eliminated those benefits.
  • With regard to cancer risk, any drinking at all was detrimental.

The researchers summed up their findings by saying that while in the future as medicine becomes more personalized, some doctors may recommend that people with family histories of heart problems have a drink from time to time, but in families with a history of cancer, abstinence will be key.

But for now, you should no longer consider a glass of wine a day to be healthy and you’ve got one more reason to cut out alcohol completely.

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  1. Even light drinking increases risk of death — Washington University School of Medicine
Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.