Alcohol has always been something that has been heavily researched. Besides the effects it can have on the body, researchers have studied how alcohol can affect individuals mentally and how the consumption of alcohol can affect communities as a whole. Now, a new study suggests that your chance of getting cancer might be reduced if you are a light drinker.
According to Live Science, a new study that has been conducted and published on June 19 in the journal PLOS Medicine, suggests that a person’s cancer risk is lower if they fall into the “lighter” drinking range. Those who drink “seven or more drinks a week” or, by comparison, don’t drink at all appear to have a higher cancer risk. According to the study, for each drink per week over the suggested limit of seven that is consumed, the risk appears to increase.
The study covered nearly 100,000 participants from the United States and ran between 1998 and 2000. Over the course of this study, participants were asked how many drinks a person consumed per week. They were also asked at what frequency they consumed those drinks over the previous year. Then, over the course of the nine-year study, researchers looked at the data in relation to primary cancer diagnoses and deaths as a result of cancer and how often these occurred during the data collection time.
The study found that for those who drank less alcohol, there was a marked decrease in cancer rates.
“The study results suggest that minimizing alcohol intake may help individuals who already drink to lower their risk of developing certain types of cancer, such as breast, colorectal and liver cancer,” said lead study author, Andrew Kunzmann, a postdoctoral research fellow at Queen’s University Belfast in Ireland.
“The results perhaps also suggest that [decisions about] drinking that second glass each night shouldn’t be made for health reasons.”
However, the researchers realize that certain factors might affect these results.
For example, studies have shown that light drinkers tend to be “more wealthy or lead healthier lifestyles in a number of ways than never drinkers,” which could lead to determining certain health factors in these groups.
Another factor to consider is the age group of the people who participated. Kunzmann admitted that this study focused on older adults. As a result, the way in which alcohol affects younger people is not yet entirely known.
However, Kunzmann did reveal that indicators such as differences in diet, smoking, and education among participants were taken into consideration in regard to the study.
Regardless of the indicating factors surrounding this study, it seems that, once again, it is a good idea to moderate your alcohol consumption in order to avoid health risks later in life.