Cancer is a serious disease caused by abnormal growth of cells.

Cancer is a serious disease caused by abnormal growth of cells.

Alcohol consumption is a risk factor for cancers of the mouth, throat, colon, breast and liver (57Trusted Source, 58Trusted Source, 59Trusted Source).

The cells lining your mouth and throat are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of alcohol.

Even light alcohol consumption — up to one drink per day — is linked to a 20% increased risk of mouth and throat cancer (59Trusted Source, 60Trusted Source).

Your risk increases the more you consume. More than four drinks daily appear to cause a fivefold increase in your risk of mouth and throat cancer, as well as an increase in your risk of breast, colon and liver cancer (58Trusted Source, 59Trusted Source, 61Trusted Source, 62Trusted Source).

SUMMARY
Drinking alcohol may increase your risk of certain cancers, especially mouth and throat cancer.
May Cause Birth Defects
Alcohol abuse during pregnancy is the leading preventable cause of birth defects in the US (63Trusted Source).

Binge drinking early in pregnancy is particularly risky for the developing baby (64Trusted Source).

In fact, it may have adverse effects on development, growth, intelligence and behavior — which may affect the child for the rest of its life (63Trusted Source).

SUMMARY
Alcohol abuse is one of the world’s most common causes of birth defects. The fetus is particularly vulnerable early in pregnancy.
Risk of Death
It may be hard to believe, but alcohol may help you live longer.

Studies suggest that light and moderate consumption of alcohol may cut the risk of premature death — especially in Western societies (65Trusted Source, 66Trusted Source).

Simultaneously, alcohol abuse is the third main cause of preventable death in the US, as it’s a large factor in chronic diseases, accidents, traffic crashes and social problems (67Trusted Source).

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