Alcohol consumption increases the risk of getting more cancers than previously thought. This is the conclusion of an international study led by Imperial College London. Coffee, on the other hand, is said to protect against liver cancer.
It was already known that alcohol could lead to breast and liver cancer. Now there is an increased risk of, among other things, head, neck, oesophagus and colon cancer. This is because alcohol is broken down during metabolism into chemicals that can bind to the DNA and eventually cause mutations.
In addition, alcohol also interferes with hormone levels. It increases the value of certain hormones associated with the development of breast cancer. The researchers conclude that the more alcohol is consumed, the greater the chance of developing associated cancers.
The consumption of coffee would help against the development of liver cancer. Coffee possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, protecting against diseases caused by inflammation, such as cancer. Eating dairy products and whole grains also lowers the risk of colon cancer, the team discovered.
“This study confirms the evidence we have for alcohol and coffee in relation to cancer,” said Giota Mitrou, director of research and innovation at the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), which funded the research. “Further research should provide more insight into the link between alcohol, coffee and cancer.”
The researchers call for greater public awareness of the links between alcohol use and cancer and encourage consumption to be limited.