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Alcohol and Cancer

By Jeannine Walston

“Epidemiologic studies link prolonged and excessive intake of alcohol as a significant risk factor in the development of some types of cancer. Studies on cancer patients report alcohol consumption is associated with increased rates of recurrence or poorer survival. Alcoholic can imbalance blood sugar and insulin levels. If you wish to drink alcoholic beverages, limit your intake to organic red wines, one or two servings per week (3.5 ounces each) with a meal (not on an empty stomach). Pomegranate juice, which has potent anti-cancer benefits, makes a nice substitute for red wine; bring it to room temperature and serve it in a wine goblet. If it is overly sweet, dilute with water.”
-Jeanne M. Wallace, PhD, CNC

Many studies demonstrate the harmful, health-less effects from alcohol on anyone consuming the different images of alcohol isolatedbeverage, especially cancer patients.

  • Epidemiological and clinical studies have pointed out that regular and moderate wine consumption (one to two glasses a day) is associated with decreased incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD), hypertension, diabetes, and certain types of cancer, including colon, basal cell, ovarian, and prostate carcinoma.1
  • Women at elevated risk for breast cancer should avoid alcohol or consume alcohol occasionally only. Alcohol increases estrogen levels, and estrogens may exert its carcinogenic effect on breast tissue either via the ER or directly. Other mechanisms may include acetaldehyde, oxidative stress, epigenetic changes due to a disturbed methyl transfer and decreased retinoic acid concentrations associated with an altered cell cycle.2
  • A meta-analysis by the International Agency of Cancer Research provides strong evidence for an association between alcohol drinking of greater than 1 drink per day and colorectal cancer risk.3
  • Non-small cell lung cancer patient survival was worse for those with alcohol abuse.4
  • Adolescents with family history may reduce their risk by avoiding alcohol.5

According to Jeanne Wallace, PhD, CNC, the adverse of alcohol intake are magnified in people who:

  • Have a moderate to high alcohol intake or many years of consumption
  • Smoke
  • Are insulin resistant
  • Eat high-fat and/or low-fiber diet, or
  • are deficient in folate
    Dr. Wallace also explains, “Folate is very commonly deficient, since this B vitamin is found predominantly in leafy green vegetables, a food group ignored by many. Folate is one of the most protective anti-cancer vitamins, likely via it’s essential role in healthy gene expression.”

Remember, and live your life, with no alcohol, or if you must drink alcohol, consume only small amounts of organic red wine at one or two 3.5 ounce servings per week with or after a meal.

Anyone dealing with alcoholism really needs to address the problem to feel better and live longer.

1. Arranz S, Chiva-Blanch G, Valderas-Martínez P, Medina-Remón A, Lamuela-Raventós RM, Estruch R. Wine, beer, alcohol and polyphenols on cardiovascular disease and cancer. Nutrients. 2012 Jul;4(7):759-81. doi:10.3390/nu4070759. Epub 2012 Jul 10. Review. PubMed PMID: 22852062; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3407993.
2. Seitz HK, Pelucchi C, Bagnardi V, La Vecchia C. Epidemiology and pathophysiology of alcohol and breast cancer: Update 2012. Alcohol Alcohol. 2012 May-Jun;47(3):204-12. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/ags011. Epub 2012 Mar 29. Review. PubMed PMID: 22459019.
3. Fedirko V, Tramacere I, Bagnardi V, Rota M, Scotti L, Islami F, Negri E, Straif K, Romieu I, La Vecchia C, Boffetta P, Jenab M. Alcohol drinking and colorectal cancer risk: an overall and dose-response meta-analysis of published studies. Ann Oncol. 2011 Sep;22(9):1958-72. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdq653. Epub 2011 Feb 9. Review. PubMed PMID: 21307158.
4. Paull DE, Updyke GM, Baumann MA, Chin HW, Little AG, Adebonojo SA. Alcohol abuse predicts progression of disease and death in patients with lung cancer. Ann Thorac Surg. 2005 Sep;80(3):1033-9. PubMed PMID: 16122481.
5. Berkey CS, Tamimi RM, Rosner B, Frazier AL, Colditz GA. Young women with family history of breast cancer and their risk factors for benign breast disease. Cancer. 2012 Jun 1;118(11):2796-803. doi: 10.1002/cncr.26519. Epub 2011 Nov 14. PubMed PMID: 22083563; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3291792.