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Alcohol moderately causes cancer (yes, it feels)

Many people were already aware of some of the most widespread lies in the history of nutrition. What am I talking about? The relationship between alcohol consumption and health.

A mantra spread to fire among the general population: That glass of wine per day or beer to rehydrate, both sold as healthy choices that were promoted as even better! Than the water. Almost everything has been valid in the propaganda of alcohol.

Relativizing a little, it is true that it seemed that alcohol was a risk factor for some diseases and cancers (colorectal, breast, pharynx, larynx, buccal, esophagus, liver). After all, our society has always been clear that “everything in excess is bad.”

The problem is that we are not so accustomed to analyzing and evaluating the risk of other things we take on a daily basis, such as ultra-processed foods, pastries, sausages and, of course, alcoholic beverages. That’s hard for us to fit in, because recognizing that a routine habit can affect your health is trickier, it removes us.

The highlight of the study recently published in Annals of Oncology is the relationship that has “moderate” consumption of alcohol with various types of cancer such as oropharyngeal, esophageal and breast.

It is not a simple correlation, like that French paradox to convenience that has been used by the alcohol industry to try to make us believe that wine was a source of health. We are talking about a “cause”. Although we are not yet able to know all the biochemical mechanisms behind it, the impact it has on the development of the disease is crucial.

Therefore, “all messages that link alcohol with cardiovascular protection should be taken with great prudence and special skepticism.” Mainly because they are isolated studies and tests that measure the activity of a few compounds of the wine. What more does the wine have powerful antioxidants or resveratrol if overall is not a healthy food because of the alcohol it has?

A similar fallacy was that we had to live by hearing that Coca-Cola had antioxidant effects. It is simply anecdotal compared to the amount of sugar it possesses.

We hear again that alcohol causes cancer, and the news tries to go unnoticed, almost as if we do not want to admit it, almost as if we want to erase it and that is not true. Juan Ignacio Pérez wondered recently What would happen if instead of being alcohol, studies were published relating to such robustness the appearance of cancer with wifi, radio antennas or additives ?: No doubt we would have a social alarm, in the Who would most likely be asking the authorities to take drastic measures.

However it seems that our country wants to look the other way, we continue to make apology of gin-tonic, considering a “machote” who drinks more and calling weak even people who choose versions without alcohol.

Who and why do you continue to advocate for alcohol?

At institutional level we continue with dietary guidelines that continue to include alcoholic beverages under the word “moderate” and “responsible”. And we even have hydration guidelines that indicate that moderate consumption has shown benefits in healthy adults.

What are all agencies that have recommended alcohol consumption to alert you to what causes cancer?

A lax and misinterpret-able recommendation that has made us recommend alcohol beyond our means. However, nothing is further from the reality: there is no “recommended” amount and therefore it is necessary to settle sharply that the consumption of alcohol is unjustifiable from the medical point of view and that the less alcohol the better.

Meanwhile, our celebrities and our athletes continue to link their image to that of alcoholic beverages. At the same time we achieved anecdotally embarrassing record consumption, unhealthy links of consumption with health. The recent study describes them as “conflicting and confusing messages in the media”.

Viewing this communication policy is understandable that your intake does not go down to the levels it should. It is true that we have experienced a decline in recent years, but the volume per person exceeds 11 liters per year. With more than 13% of the population who drink daily and another 38% who do it at least once every week. (Source ENS 2011)

This last publication continues to make incomprehensible the defense of its promotion and its consumption. The latest research published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs in March included an analysis of 87 studies, which concluded that “moderate alcohol consumption has no benefit over casual or withdrawal.” You may wonder:

Why then is it still being promoted from different “sanitary” estates?
Why is it still healthy for the population?
Why are health professionals still recommending their consumption?
Why are there scientists and scientists in the scientific committee of entities such as Beer and Health?

And the most uncomfortable:

Why do we let the alcohol industry influence the development of public health policies?

Undoubtedly, the answer is far removed from science, from logic, but especially from ethics.


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