June 24, 2017

Sobering Facts about Alcohol and Breast Cancer

Do you enjoy your wine, beer, or margaritas? If so, I have a treat for you. But first a sobering fact: the more you indulge, the higher your risk of breast cancer.

In fact, women who consume 3 or more alcoholic beverages per week have a significantly higher risk of developing the disease.

Most people know alcohol is particularly poisonous to liver cells, which filter the blood, deactivating toxins in our blood.   According to research reviewed by Dr. Bob Arnot, alcohol is the most solidly established dietary factor related to breast cancer and also one of the most powerfwine red glassul. Why?

Alcohol consumption elevates estrogen levels.  By and large this is NOT a good thing, since about 75 percent of breast cancers grow in the presence of estrogen.

To understand this more fully, consider the contra-indications for certain drugs.  You may have had the experience of filling a doctor’s prescription for which the pharmacist had warned you NOT to consume grapefruit or grapefruit juice while taking the medication.  This is because certain drugs  inhibit certain detoxification enzymes, preventing it from being cleared from the blood steam in time for the next dose. The drug builds up in the body, akin to taking a double dose, causing dangerous side effects that can be deadly. In a similar way, alcohol decreases the liver’s ability to detoxify estrogen out of circulation. Remember: every cell, hormone and chemical made by the body must be broken down (detoxified) and disposed of when its lifespan reaches its end—including estrogen.  Blocking this naturally occurring detoxification process is harmful in a body with trillions of estrogen receptors!

Men need to be concerned about this too, because they are poorly equipped to handle estrogen.  By up-regulating (increasing activity of) an enzyme called aromatase, alcohol consumption fosters the conversion of male hormones to estrogen. Males who drink regularly and heavily often have evidence of breast growth, and this is the reason.  Even though only 1% of breast cancer occurs in men, it is still a risk, and the men I know do NOT want to wear a bra! I rest my case.

Finally, a reminder of the elephant in the room: alcohol is a poison to the human body. It kills liver cells and brain cells directly, and produces carcinogenic  by-products like acetaldehyde (a relative of formaldehyde–ick!). Messing with it is your decision.

Tips

  • Do yourself a favour and keep your alcohol consumption to a bare minimum.
  • I suggest to women with multiple risk factors to avoid it completely.
  • Avoiding consumption when your estrogen levels are highest—during the middle of your menstrual cycle—seems prudent.
  • Now go enjoy a mock-tail! That’s right: an alcohol-free cocktail.  Here’s one to get you started:

mojito

Mojito Mock-tail (Serves 2)

1 packet stevia extract to sweeten

1 tbsp fresh mint leaves, washed

juice of 3 limes

2 cups Perrier or other naturally effervescent mineral water

crushed ice/ice cubes

Directions: Using a mortar and pestle or a muddler, combine the stevia with the mint leaves, bruising them to release their flavour.

Put a handful of ice in a cocktail shaker or directly into 2 tall glasses,  topping with the bruised mint. Add half of the lime juice to each glass. Shake or stir vigorously. Top with the carbonated water. Stir with a straw and enjoy!

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