The light drinking lie that could give you cancer
You've probably heard that a drink a night is not only perfectly safe, but also perfectly healthy.
But that's not the full story.
Even a little bit of booze can pack a whole lot of risk, including the so-called "light" and "moderate" drinking habits most folks assume isn't a problem thanks to years of relentless liquor marketing.
And now, the latest research shows again why you need to be careful about how much alcohol you consume, because it can increase your risk of cancer even at those so-called "safe" levels.
For women, just a single drink a night -- even a glass of wine with dinner -- is enough to increase the risk of breast cancer.
I know that's not what you've heard. I know in many cases it's not what you want to hear.
But booze is one of the world's leading causes of cancer, responsible for some 4 percent of all cases of the disease. And while many of them strike folks with heavier drinking habits, the new study is a reminder that even a little alcohol can have toxic effects inside the body.
The study didn't find a cancer risk in most men from light to moderate drinking, except among those who have smoked. For them, it's as if the booze works to enhance the damage caused by tobacco.
Don't consider yourself safe if you haven't smoked in years. The study in BMJ finds all men who've ever smoked face a higher cancer risk from a light to moderate drinking habit.
Alcohol simply isn't the "healthy" habit it's often made out to be by the media -- which becomes perfectly clear when you look at all the other research on this.
Alcohol is converted into acetaldehyde inside your body, which can make your skin more prone to damage from UV light. As a result, a study published last year found that moderate drinking will increase your risk of melanoma, the deadly form of skin cancer, by 55 percent.
No one likes a party pooper and I'm certainly not out to ruin anyone's fun. If you're healthy and enjoy alcohol, a drink every now and again on a special occasion is probably fine.
But don't make it a regular habit... and certainly don't fall for the hype that "moderate" drinking is safe or healthy.
Clearly, it's not.