It seems like every other month, we get another story about the effect of alcohol on our health. Although science loves to tout the benefits of antioxidants in red wine specifically, but when it comes to light drinking in general, the outlook is a lot less positive. Even one drink each day might increase risk of breast cancer by 5 percent, according to recent research.
The study, published in the journal Alchol and Alcoholism, also found that the risk goes up to 50 percent for women who drink three or more drinks a day (which is definitely considered "heavy drinking"). Yeesh! A bit frightening, huh?
The research analyzed 113 previous studies on breast cancer and drinking and found that a drink a day causes about 5 percent of breast cancers in Northern Europe and North America, but up to 10 percent in countries like Italy and France where drinking more often is par for the course.
The conclusions here definitely make you think. Sure, it's only 5-10 percent, but is a drink a day really worth it?
Not for me. Don't get me wrong -- I'm not someone who shuns drinking altogether, and I adore wine, especially a glass of red now and then. But recently, I've been treating a drink like a special treat. Something I save for the weekend and special occasions. Because aside from the scary bump in risk of breast cancer, there are quite a few other downsides to drinking every day, like extra empty calories, a blow to stable blood sugar, and potentially nasty issues like acid reflux. Ick. It's certainly not something I can't give up.
Although, I do know women who adore their one or two glasses of wine when they come home from a long day of work. In light of this news, I guess they'll just have to reassess whether or not their daily drink is worth the slight risk.
Do you have a drink a day? Does this research make you want to quit?