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Clinton Graves: Alcohol-cancer connection




We will all rejoice when and if a simple cure for breast cancer is found. But, better, wouldn't it be great if we had known techniques for preventing breast cancer? Recent research has shown that two or three alcoholic drinks per week may be associated with a notable increase in breast cancer. Daily drinking of alcoholic beverages can be associated with as much as a 50 percent increase in the incidence of breast cancer.  


These studies have been mentioned on national news. This is not to say that alcohol causes cancer. However, it is well known that alcohol is an excellent solvent, and thus capable of moving carcinogens, from whatever source (food, tobacco products, etc.) into the system. The presence of carcinogens in our food supply have not been adequately studied or identified. 


Please, for the sake of health and well-being, let us be totally honest about the dangers of alcohol consumption. Alcohol is a dangerous drug, and according to my understanding, alcohol, alone, has no nutritive value. Nutritional benefits often attributed to alcoholic beverages comes from the fruit, grains, or other plant components used in production, not the alcohol.  


Much has been made by the wine industry that red wine contains resveratrol which is thought to reduce cancer, and to have other health benefits. Resveratrol comes from the skin of the grapes, and is present in red grape juice. No benefit from the alcohol in wine. 


The 12% or higher alcoholic content of the wines of commerce today can easily become a killer with over indulgence. The content in other (distilled) alcoholic beverages are very dangerous, particularly for children and the very young. They are dangerous at any age. Even the yeast cells that produce the alcohol are killed when the concentration reaches 15%. 


So many of our young have their lives literally destroyed by indulging in alcoholic beverages - unfortunately, following the example set by their elders who not only indulge, but encourage the sale and use of alcohol through state and municipal laws touting such indulgence as necessary for what they call "progress." 


Personally, I cannot see the difference in the dangers of alcohol and that of so many mind-altering drugs that are currently prohibited. I am wondering if there are any in public office that have full appreciation of the very real dangers of alcohol, and that would be willing to make corrections in state and local laws that encourage alcohol abuse.



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