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Does Drinking Increase Your Risk of Cancer?

If you drink alcohol regularly, then it is important to understand how your drinking is impacting your health. There are several research studies which have shown the health benefits of resveratrol, which is an antioxidant found in wine. Even though wine has this powerful antioxidant, you need to consider the other health implications from drinking alcohol.

In fact, evidence suggests that the amount of alcohol that you drink over time could have an impact on your cancer risk. At this point, it’s not completely understood exactly how alcohol plays a role in the development of cancer, but researchers have suggested that consuming higher amounts of alcohol might increase your risk of cancer.

Here are a few things that we know about alcohol and health:

Alcohol Depletes Certain Nutrients

Cancer risk might go up when there are nutrient deficiencies within the body, and it has been found that alcohol consumption depletes specific nutrients, including: magnesium, zinc, and B-complex vitamins. Heavy drinkers have a problem with folate levels, because the alcohol reduces the body’s ability to absorb folate from food sources.

Many people don’t get enough folate in their diet. Alcohol consumption makes this problem worse by preventing the body from absorbing the folate that is available. Low folate levels have been linked with an increase in colon and breast cancers, so it is important that you reduce your alcohol consumption and eat more foods that are a good source of folate.

Chronic Inflammation from Alcohol

Alcohol can act as an irritant within the body, which can lead to chronic inflammation for some people. When the alcohol irritates the cells, especially in the throat and mouth, those cells are damaged. As the cells work to repair themselves, it is possible that DNA changes might occur which could eventually lead to cancer. This inflammatory response can occur anywhere in the body.

Drinking too much alcohol can also cause inflammation in the liver, and this damage can have a domino effect on other aspects of health.

Disrupted Hormone Levels

Alcohol consumption might play a role in hormone levels, because the alcohol might cause the levels of estrogen to increase within the body. Estrogen plays a direct impact on the development of breast tissue, which can have a domino effect on the development of breast cancer.

If you want to reduce your risk of cancer, then it is best to limit your consumption of alcoholic beverages. Are you interested in learning about other lifestyle factors that impact your risk of cancer? Check out Unravel the Mystery, by Ann Malkmus, which is a detailed guide about how environmental and dietary factors affect your cancer risk. Also, take a look at the Unravel the Mystery Recipe Book to find delicious recipes, so that you can easily follow the dietary guidelines to reduce your risk of cancer.


  1. Hi,
    Thank you for this article it’s very interesting and informative. But I have a question, if someone would drink occasionally, how may cups would be save enough to drink in a week?, more less…?

    • Christy Okon April 17, 2015

      That is something you would have to determine yourself. I am sure there are a lot of factors to consider: gender, weight, etc. and we are not able to determine the amount for you.

  2. Don Zimmerman April 17, 2015

    I have also heard like you all that resveratrol is a strong antioxidant? Since drinking alcohol could be dangerous for our health, are there other ways to get resveratrol in our bodies? Foods, drinks, supplements?

    • Christy Okon April 20, 2015

      Resveratrol is part of the stilbene group of polyphenol plant compounds. The antioxidant properties of polyphenols, in general, help protect the body against cancer and heart disease. Resveratrol may also stimulate production of nitric oxide, which relaxes muscle cells in the blood vessels in order to increase blood flow. Resveratrol can be found in foods you already include in your diet, like pistachios, grapes and blueberries.

  3. Moderation is the key and resveratrol has been found to fight cancer.

  4. Ingrid Arnold April 17, 2015

    The bible clearly states that… Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. I am convinced that the wine Jesus partook of was the NEW WINE. Non fermented. Proverbs 23:29-35 Who has woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last is biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an ader. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. The place in the bible mentions that Jesus partook of the “fruit of the vine” NEW WINE… Grape juice. NOT fermented wine. No amount of fermented wine is acceptable.

    • Yes, Doug Batchelor, one of my favorite Bible teachers, also believes the “new wine” reference was grape juice, not fermented product. Check out one of his courses to get the details and translation information.

  5. No alcohol amount is good for you !

    You can get antioxidants from healthy sources.

    The “wine has antioxidants” campaign is a trap for profit, just like “cow milk has calcium” and so many other ways they mislead you.

    Read the book “Sick and Tired” by Robert Young to learn more of the true story of health and how we have come to this epidemic instead of a thriving culture.

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