Gutbliss - Dr. Robynne Chutkan


Does Alcohol Increase Colon Cancer Risk?

Alcohol increases colon cancer risk, independent of genetic risk. The study, published in May of this year in EClinical Medicine, looked at alcohol consumption and its association with colorectal cancer risk in over 9,000 patients. Alcohol consumption was self-reported using the following categories: abstinent (0g/d), low (less than 1 drink daily), low to moderate (1 to 2 drinks daily), moderate to high (2 to 4 drinks daily), and high (greater than 4 drinks daily).

The study found that moderate and moderate-high categories were associated with an increased risk of colon cancer. The risk was almost double in those who averaged more than two alcoholic drinks daily. While high consumption of beer and liquor was significantly associated with an increased risk for colorectal cancer, high consumption of wine was not. This could be due to the fact that wine drinkers tend to have healthier habits compared to beer and liquor drinkers.

If you’re at high risk for cancer or have a history of previous cancer, avoiding or strictly limiting alcohol is the best choice. If you are a drinker, make sure to keep your consumption down to less than 2 drinks daily for men, and less than 1 for women based on USDA guidelines.

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