Alcohol kills over 600K people a year... via cancer

Written by Alex Reid
Posted January 30, 2020

Dear Reader,

Group 1 carcinogens...

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies this group as the world’s most dangerous carcinogenic substances.

That group typically includes tobacco smoke, exposure to radiation, and breathing engine exhaust.

Hopefully, we all are limiting our exposure to these things. 

But few know that alcohol consumption is also on the Group 1 carcinogen list…

Alcohol actually causes MORE cancer-related deaths each year than cigarette smoking. 

That’s right…

Each year, cigarettes take the lives of 480,000 people.

But in 2017, researchers estimated that the total cancer deaths due to alcohol consumption were 621,000 (in just ONE year).

That’s 1,700 people every... single... day.

Alcohol (scientifically known as ethanol) is highly toxic to your cells.

When you have an alcoholic beverage, the ethanol content begins killing the cells that it comes in contact with. And it starts with the cells in your mouth, esophagus, and pharynx. As it moves through the digestive tract, alcohol continues wreaking havoc. 

Studies show that ethanol can cause skin, throat, stomach, pancreatic, liver, gallbladder, breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer.

Just 15 minutes after a drink, 30%–40% of the cells exposed to the alcohol are destroyed. An additional 5%–10% of cells die after one hour. 

Stem cells begin dividing in response to the massive amount of cell death. As they divide, errors happen, which may take the form of DNA and chromosome mutations. 

These mutations are what can cause cancer cells to form.

Stem cells are particularly sensitive to carcinogens during the dividing process.

But this isn’t the only way that ethanol can cause cancer. In the liver, alcohol is broken down into something called "acetaldehyde."

Acetaldehyde is both carcinogenic and mutagenic

This chemical is incredibly toxic. It inhibits DNA repair and synthesis, it causes mutations to white blood cells, and it slows down cell cycle progression.

As if that isn’t enough, ethanol also creates reactive oxygen species in the liver. This reduces antioxidants and leaves the cells in your liver vulnerable to excessive oxidation, which promotes cellular and chemical changes that may lead to cancer growth.

Aside from ethanol itself, there are actually 16 other possible carcinogens found in alcoholic beverages!

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This includes:

  • Lead 
  • Arsenic
  • Formaldehyde
  • Glyphosate
  • Ethyl Carbamate
  • Benzene
  • Aflatoxins
  • N-Nitrosodimethylamine

Virtually all of these toxins are also on the Group 1 carcinogen list

Unsurprisingly, those suffering from alcoholism are most at risk for cancer. 

However, light drinkers aren’t in the clear either...

Your risk of developing alcohol-related cancer increases as you consume more alcohol. Over time, one drink a day may still significantly increase your cancer risk.

One study even concluded that there is no safe threshold for alcohol consumption.

Those who already have cancer are also at a far higher risk of developing secondary cancers if they consume alcohol. 

This really makes you re-think the dangers of alcohol — they certainly don’t end at liver disease, alcohol poisoning, and drunken accidents.

And while ads caution “drink responsibly,” there may not be any way to truly drink responsibly…

To your health,

Alex Reid
President, Longevity Insider HQ