Sucking down this drink sucks life out of your cells

You already know that drinking alcohol contributes to premature aging and the development of diseases like cancer.

In fact, last year, a review of 10 years of research showed that drinking alcohol causes at least seven different types of cancer: oropharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum and breast cancer. Scary, huh?

Well, that’s not all. There’s even more damning evidence against alcohol…

A study earlier this year showed that it takes a full four days to recover physically from just one night of heavy drinking. A night of drinking also increases your resting heart rate and lowers your heart rate variability in way that makes your heart behave like its 12 years older.

So alcohol is bad for you. That’s not new information. But the reason why is…

Researchers recently found that alcohol damages your cells in a way that leaves you especially vulnerable to premature aging and disease.

Alcohol sabotages your cells

In their latest study, Kobe University researchers determined that alcohol takes a toll on your telomeres.

Now, just in case you forgot, your telomeres are the caps on the end of your chromosomes that correspond with health and aging. The shorter your telomeres, the higher your biological age and the more likely you are to develop disease.

These researchers determined that alcoholics have shorter telomeres than non-alcoholics, which means they’re aging much faster.

“Our study showed that alcoholic patients have a shortened telomere length, which means that heavy drinking causes biological aging at a cellular level,” said study leader Dr. Naruhisa Yamaki, a clinical fellow at the Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan.

Rapid aging isn’t an appealing prospect to anyone. But what makes alcohol’s effect on your telomeres even worse is that it puts you at risk for serious diseases. That’s because, the more your cells age, the more likely you are to develop age-related diseases like heart disease, diabetes, cancer and dementia.

What about alcohol’s health benefits?

Now, I know you’ve heard that a glass of red wine with dinner is healthy. But that’s still up for debate. One recent study found that drinking in moderation still raises your risk for cancer considerably…

That means even one nightcap could be slowly chipping away at your telomeres and your health. Is it worth the risk? Probably not…

But if you enjoy cocktails too much to give them up completely, consider cutting back. Try replacing your nightly cocktail with a more healthful yet still satisfying beverage a few times per week, like a glass of kombucha or kvass. These fizzy, fermented beverages contain trace amounts of alcohol, but they also contain probiotics, b-vitamins and other health-giving nutrients.

Sources: “Boozing can age you right down to your cells. — MedicalXpress. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine,, and