Official alcohol guidelines”Plucked out of the air”

Official alcohol guidelines that were”plucked out of the air” wrongly suggest we can drink almost daily with no ill effects doctors have said.

They have been set too high and fail to take into account evidence that shows drinking only modest amounts raise the risk of cancer and other diseases, they say.

The issue is investigated in a three-part documentary into British government guidelines on alcohol, diet and exercise starting today on BBC Radio 4.

The current guidelines recommend that men should limit themselves to “three to four units” a day, which the NHS likens to “not much more than a pint of strong lager” and women not to drink more than”two to three units “a day, equivalent to”no more than a standard 175ml glass of wine”.

Research published last year suggests consumption should be much lower perhaps only a quarter of a pint of beer daily.

Dr. Michael Mosley’s research for the documentary found the guidelines were based on limited data on the harmful effects of low to moderate level drinking. They were formulated in 1987 by a Royal College of Physicians working party.

In 2007, Richard Smith, one of the members of the group and a former editor of the ‘British Medical Journal’ said it could not say what a safe limit was because of this lack of data.

“These limits were really plucked out of the air”, he said.  “They were not based on any real evidence at all”

The British government had “presented these guidelines as if they were about health, but they are not”. “They are more about behaviour, trying to stop you going out and crashing the car or fighting” he said.

A Harvard University study published in the “Journal of the American Medical Association in 2011, found that women who drank only four small glasses of wine a week – about five units-increased their risk of developing breast cancer by 15% compared with non-drinkers.

Another 2011 study estimated that alcohol caused 13,000 cancers a year, including 6,000 of the mouth and throat, 3,000 bowel cancer cases and 2,500 cases of breast cancer.

Last May, scientists published research recommending that people should cut consumption to 50ml of wine a day, or quarter of a pint of beer.

Daily Telegraph, London.


Can soda and fruit juice cause cancer?

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Cleveland Clinic

A new study has linked drinking just 100 ml of a sugary drink to an 18% increase in overall cancer risk and a 22% increase in breast cancer risk.

No Amount of Alcohol Is Safe,

everyday health wine

Everyday Health

Is it healthy to drink a glass of wine every day?

No Amount of Alcohol Is Safe, a Global Analysis of Research Suggests

The large-scale research puts a hole in the idea that one glass of wine a day is safe.

Prior research suggests moderate drinking may offer health benefits like reduced stress and a healthier heart.

Having that wind-down glass of wine when you get home from work may be harming your health. That’s because, according to a large-scale, global meta-analysis of research published August 23, 2018 in The Lancet, there’s a chance that no amount of alcohol is safe.

For the review, researchers pulled from 694 data sources, profiling who and how much those in a global population were drinking, and from 592 studies looking at the relationship between alcohol and disease. They found that 2.8 million deaths were attributed to alcohol use in 2016.

If you drink alcohol, you probably want to take a moment now to mention that previous studies have shown imbibing in moderation is good for your heart. The French live long, healthy lives because of wine! you say. Guess what: the new Lancet study found that drinking alcohol was minimally helpful for stroke, heart disease, and diabetes, but when taken in the context of other causes of death — such as cancer and car accidents — the risks outweighed the small potential benefit.

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