Well, then, no Cheers!

A reduction of alcohol consumption to three liters per head and year, claims an Australian study, lowering the risk of cancer to a considerable extent. The study has the potential, the debate around the measure of fuel that is acceptable use of alcohol: it makes the magnitude of the total social costs visible.

That alcohol consumption increases the likelihood to develop certain types of cancer, is known for a long time. He is considered to be a cause of oral cavity, and cancer of the pharynx, larynx and esophagus cancer, liver, colorectal, and possibly of stomach cancer, and in women from breast cancer.

Beginning in 2018, documented in the journal “Nature” published a study as it comes to the carcinogenic effect of alcohol: In the processing of consumed alcohol is as an intermediate product, acetaldehyde, is one of the substances that are the cause of the dreaded hangover. Acetaldehyde damages but also the DNA, what is the risk for copy increases errors, and makes stem cells mutate – direct causes of cancer.

A safe dose below which this risk occurs, there is: the risk increases only with increasing amount consumed. So that more alcohol means more cancer, is considered to be proven.

Australian researchers wanted to know whether this effect can be more accurately quantified. It called for an unusually large data set: The archived health and consumption data for the Australian population back to the thirty years. They correlated so alcohol sale cases, data with medical records and death covered.

Clear correlation: less booze, less disease

So, could be demonstrated, that over a period of 20 years, 12% less people became ill with cancer, if they renounced the use of three liters of pure alcohol per year.

This is not a comparison of total abstinence against alcohol consumption. It’s just a matter of developing that people who drink less than other lower risk of cancer.

For comparison, The average German citizens between 15 and 69 years of drinking the latest statistics show that 10.7 liters of pure alcohol per year (Yearbook 2018). The waiver of one-third of this consumption, says the study, would then cases to 12 percent less Cancer in the course of the next 20 years.

Average misleading figures in this regard, of course, leader: people drink in different situations of life and aging differently in a lot of; Women usually considerably less than men (according to the WHO, the ratio in Germany is here at 7 to 16.8 litres of pure alcohol); Academics often have more than workers, etc.

But what is pure alcohol? 11 liters correspond to pure alcohol

  • nearly 700 bottles of beer (0,33 Liter) per year or
  • 1000 glasses of wine (0.1 Liter) per year.

Important in such statistics, however, is that the correlation of Numbers does not establish causality: Neither the one who drinks five times more inevitable cancer, yet the one who is practicing abstinence can be derived, resulting in a guarantee that happen to him. Meaningful the number is only the average of the entire population. When consumed for an average of three litres less alcohol, claims the study, declining the cancer probability over the entire population, and 12 percent in 20 years.

Already, however, are not statistically significant Numbers, that a more intensive discussion of alcohol consumption is likely to be only a matter of time: Such studies, the individual risk is visible, but the costs to the economy. What was previously the cigarette, could now be increasingly the alcohol. More and more studies identify the social drug alcohol is sanctioned as a cancer-causing substance that we bring to us voluntarily in to a high degree.

Editors ‘ note: an earlier Version of the text, the beer and wine quantities, the drinks, the average German per year, calculated incorrectly. We have corrected the Numbers.