Any Amount of Alcohol Increases Cancer Risk

January 11, 2016

A new set of alcohol guidelines issued by health officials in the United Kingdom takes a hard stance: any amount of alcohol increases cancer risk, and is generally unhealthy.

Even the touted heart benefits of moderate alcohol only apply for women older than 55, the guidelines added.

“The links between alcohol and cancer were not fully understood in the original guidelines, which came out in 1995,” said the U.K. Department of Health. “The group concluded that there is no justification for drinking for health reasons.”

The “safe” guidelines were reduced to just six pints of average-strength beer per week, they added. That amount of alcohol is best spread out three or more days – and to take several days off per week, they claimed.

The CDC guidelines for Americans is still a bit more lenient – moderate drinking equals about two drinks per day for men, and one per day for women. But the federal agency also mentioned that even that moderate level increases risks for certain cancers, violence, accidents and injuries.

The health benefits of alcohol have been subject to debate by scientists for years. A litany had described cardiovascular benefits of limited drinking – but certain recent studies have countered that theory.

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