Study: Small Glass of Wine or Beer a Day Increases Breast Cancer Risk

Erin Brodwin wrote . . . . . . .

A new report from two major research groups has linked alcohol — even as little as one glass of wine or beer each day — to breast cancer.

The finding comes from the latest paper in a series that explores the link between cancer and lifestyle factors like diet and exercise.

For the report, scientists from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund looked at 119 studies from around the globe. In total, they incorporated data from roughly 12 million women and included some 260,000 cases of breast cancer.

They found strong evidence that drinking one glass of wine or beer a day increases the risk of developing both pre- and postmenopausal breast cancer. (Postmenopausal is the most common.)

But their conclusions aren’t all bad: Vigorous exercise was also shown to be linked with a significant decrease in the risk of breast cancer. The women in the studies who were the most active had a lower risk of developing cancer compared with those who exercised the least.

“There are no guarantees when it comes to cancer, but it’s empowering to know you can do something to lower your risk,” Alice Bender, a registered dietitian who is the head of nutrition programs for the AICR, tells Business Insider.

This isn’t the first study to highlight a connection between alcohol and cancer. In its report on cancer-causing agents, the US Department of Health and Human Services lists alcohol as a known human carcinogen. Research highlighted by the National Cancer Institute suggests that the more alcohol you drink — particularly the more you drink regularly — the higher your risk of developing cancer.

“We’re not saying no one should ever drink at all — we’re just saying if you do drink, even trying to keep it down to less than one drink a day would be a smart choice,” Bender says.

Work from the AICR and the WCRF also made headlines last year when a study found that eating red meats like bacon was linked with an increased risk of lower-stomach cancer.

But before you ban bacon from your breakfast table or pour out the wine in your cupboard, keep in mind that the researchers are highlighting a link between certain dietary choices and a moderate uptick in the overall chances that people will develop cancer in their lifetime. They are not saying every slice of bacon you eat or glass of rosé you drink jacks up your chances of getting the disease.

“Cancer is complicated,” Susan Higginbotham, AICR’s vice president of research, told Business Insider when discussing last year’s bacon study. The findings, she said, were “showing there’s an increase in risk and we have ideas about why it might be happening, but we’re not sure.”

In other words, wine and bacon are not the only important factors — things like your genes, smoking habits, and exposure to pollutants can play a role in your chances of getting cancer, too. Eating and exercise habits, though, are easier to modify.

“It’s good to look at where you are with diet and physical activity and look at places where you might improve and just start every day to take some simple steps to decrease your risk and improve your health,” Bender says. “A little bit of change can make a real difference.”

Source: Business Insider


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Diet. nutrition, physical activity and breast cancer . . . . .

Moderate Drinking May not Ward Off Heart Disease

Many people believe that having a glass of wine with dinner — or moderately drinking any kind of alcohol — will protect them from heart disease. But a hard look at the evidence finds little support for that.

That’s the conclusion of a new research review in the May 2017 issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Over the years, studies have found that adults who drink moderately have lower heart disease rates than non-drinkers. That has spurred the widespread belief that alcohol, in moderation, does a heart good.

But the new analysis, of 45 previous cohort studies, reveals the flaws in that assumption: A central issue is that “non-drinkers” may, in fact, be former drinkers who quit or cut down for health reasons.

Furthermore, seniors who are healthy may be more likely to keep enjoying that glass of wine with dinner.

“We know that people generally cut down on drinking as they age, especially if they have health problems,” said researcher Tim Stockwell, Ph.D., director of the Centre for Addictions Research at the University of Victoria, in British Columbia, Canada.

“People who continue to be moderate drinkers later in life are healthier,” Stockwell said. “They’re not sick, or taking medications that can interact with alcohol.”

And in studies, that can lead to a misleading association between moderate drinking and better health.

In their analysis, Stockwell’s team found that overall, “current” moderate drinkers (up to two drinks per day) did, in fact, have a lower rate of heart disease death than non-drinkers.

However, that was not the case in studies that looked at people’s drinking habits at relatively young ages — age 55 or earlier — and followed them to their older years when heart disease might strike. Similarly, studies that rigorously accounted for people’s heart health at baseline indicated no benefits from moderate drinking.

According to Stockwell, it all suggests that “abstainers” tend to be less healthy than moderate drinkers — but not because they never drank. Instead, their health may influence their drinking choices. That is, they may not drink because their health is poor.

“We can’t ‘prove’ it one way or the other,” Stockwell noted. “But we can say there are grounds for a healthy skepticism around the idea that moderate drinking is good for you.”

A second study in the same issue supports that.

That research followed more than 9,100 U.K. adults from the age of 23 to 55. Overall, researchers found that people’s drinking habits evolved over time — and few were actually lifelong “abstainers.” Nearly all people who were non-drinkers at age 55 had given up alcohol.

What’s more, non-drinkers — even those in their 20s — tended to be in poorer physical and mental health compared with those who drank moderately and did not smoke. They were also, on average, less educated, and education is an important factor in lifetime health.

However, no one is saying that people who enjoy alcohol in moderation should stop.

“The risks of low-level drinking are small,” Stockwell said. But, he added, people should not drink solely because they believe it wards off disease.

“The notion that one or two drinks a day is doing us good may just be wishful thinking,” Stockwell said.

Source: Science Daily


Today’s Comic

Sea Cucumber Jasmine Tea

Jasmine Tea with Namako (Sea Cucumber) Powder

Namako-shape Tea-bag

Natural Remedies for Kidney Stones

Nearly one in 11 Americans will develop a kidney stone during their lifetime, according to the American Urological Association, and for at least half of those afflicted, it isn’t just a one-time occurrence. Since the experience can be very painful, it’s important to know that there are steps you can take to prevent another attack.

Kidney stones form when the levels of minerals and salts normally present in urine—such as calcium and phosphate—are high and tiny particles of them stick together. The stones can then pass from the kidneys into the urinary tract. Symptoms include: sharp pain in your lower abdomen, back, side or groin; pain when you urinate; nausea and vomiting; and fever and chills.

If you have had a kidney stone, a lab analysis of the stone’s composition or of your urine can help provide information on the specific stone risk factor. About 80 percent of people with kidney stones have calcium stones. The good news is that there are some natural remedies for kidney stones.

What to Drink

Drinking 4 ounces of lemon juice daily (diluted in a half-gallon of water) over the course of each day may help prevent recurrence of two types of kidney stones—calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate. The lemon juice boosts levels of citrate in your urine, which discourages the formation of these stones.

This “lemonade therapy” may be a possible alternative to traditional citrate treatments, which are often recommended to prevent kidney stones, but can cause gastrointestinal symptoms. Don’t add sugar, though; sugar-sweetened beverages can boost stone risk by around 20 percent, according to Ramy Youssef Yaacoub, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of urology at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine.

If drinking lemon water daily doesn’t appeal to you, another natural remedy for kidney stones is drinking plenty of fluids in general. Drinking enough to essentially double your daily urine output is the cornerstone of any action plan to prevent kidney stones, says Yaacoub. This step can dilute your urine, which helps keep calcium and other compounds from clumping together. Plain water is a good choice, and coffee can also help, Yaacoub says. While there is research suggesting that sipping tea may also cut risk, Yaacoub advises against it; high oxalate levels in tea could increase stone risk for some people.

What to Eat

Natural remedies for kidney stones also include some dietary changes. If you’ve had a calcium stone, cutting back on sodium-heavy processed and fast foods can reduce your risk because a high-sodium diet increases calcium levels in your urine.

Don’t skimp on calcium-rich foods, though. Too little calcium in your diet can increase urine levels of oxalate, another factor in the formation of kidney stones. “Two to three servings of milk, yogurt, or other healthy calcium-rich dairy foods are recommended for people who’ve had calcium stones,” Yaacoub says. “Have it with a meal; that way the calcium will bind in your digestive system with oxalates from the other food you eat.”

Your doctor may also recommend cutting back on high-oxalate vegetables, such as beets, navy beans, rhubarb, and spinach. Be sure to eat plenty of other types of fruit and vegetables, though, and to rein in serving sizes of animal proteins (red meat, chicken, fish, pork)—a dietary one-two punch that helps keep citrate levels in urine high.

Check Your Medicines

Your doctor can also evaluate whether medications you take for other health conditions are causing stones to form, and may be able to adjust your dosage or switch you to another drug. These include laxatives, some antibiotics, potassium-sparing diuretics (used for high blood pressure), potassium channel blockers (used to control heart rhythm and for multiple sclerosis), and sulfonylureas (used to treat type 2 diabetes).

Source: Consumer Reports

Cherry Blossom Matcha Latte