Alcohol consumption has been linked to… Today’s Facts

Alcohol consumption has been linked to… Today’s Facts
  1. Cancer. Excess alcohol consumption may increase the risk of the following cancers:

    • Colorectal cancer – 10-20% increased risk with usual consumption of 50g daily, or 3-4 standard sized drinks daily.

    • Breast cancer – For each 2/3 of a drink consumed daily (10g alcohol) risk increases by 7-10%.

    • Cancer of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx – Less than 2 drinks daily = 86% increased risk. 3-4 drinks daily = 311% increased risk.

    • Esophageal cancer – Less than 2 drinks = 39% increased risk, 3-4 drinks daily = 93% increased risk.

    • Liver cancer – Less than 2 drinks daily – 19% increased risk, 3-4 drinks daily = 40% increased risk.

    • Stomach cancer – Less certain relationship. May be related to alcohol.

    • Pancreatic cancer – Less certain relationship. May be related to alcohol.

    • Lung cancer – Less certain relationship. May be related to alcohol.


  2. Stress urinary incontinence (a sneeze or cough causes leakage of urine): 2.4 times more common among women who consume alcohol.

  3. Depression – Alcohol consumption is clearly associated with depression and has biochemical effects that explain how it causes and exacerbates depression.

  4. Hemorrhagic stroke (a type of stroke where a blood vessel breaks open) – High levels (more than 4 drinks a day) are associated with over 200% increased risk.

  5. Pneumonia – Two drinks a day increase risk by 13%. More drinks lead to higher risk.

  6. High blood pressure – Just two drinks a day is linked to 25% increased risk in men. More is linked to higher risks.

  7. Heart rhythm problems – More than 2 drinks daily linked to more about 15% increased risk of conduction problems.

  8. Pancreatitis – High alcohol consumption strikingly increases risk of pancreatitis.

  9. Liver cirrhosis – High alcohol consumption increases risk of the liver cirrhosis and failure.

  10. Addiction – 7% of American adults have an alcohol use disorder, which includes alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence.

  11. Insomnia – 35-70% of people who chronically drink alcohol have insomnia, a much higher rate than the general population.

  12. Heartburn – Alcohol can hamper the function of the sphincter barrier between the esophagus and stomach, leading to acid reflux and heartburn.

  13. Leaky gut – Alcohol can disrupt the barrier function of the intestine, allowing large molecules that normally couldn’t be absorbed into your body.

  14. Disrupted nutrition – High levels of alcohol consumption inhibits the absorption of a variety of nutrients.

  15. Psoriasis – Alcohol may be a trigger for psoriasis exacerbations.

  16. Obesity – Alcohol contains lots of calories, and people may not compensate for those calories by eating less food. In fact, alcohol may stimulate appetite. That said, observational data does not link alcohol intake with weight gain.


Facts based on an article by Thomas Campbell, MD

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