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The Muddled Link Between Booze and Cancer

Alcohol use raises the risk of cancer.

A COUPLE YEARS ago, a researcher named Curtis Ellison took the podium in a crowded lecture hall at Boston University’s School of Public Health to tackle a question that had divided the university’s public health community: whether moderate drinking should be recommended as part of a healthy lifestyle. Ellison’s take? “I mean, it’s so obviously ‘yes,’” he told the crowd.

You’ve heard Ellison’s pitch before: A glass a day can make for a healthier heart and a longer life. On stage, he told the story of “Jackrabbit” Johannsen, a famed cross country skier who lived to be 111. Johannsen had four pieces of advice for a long and healthy life, Ellison said: “Don’t smoke, get lots of exercise, don’t drink too much.” He paused. “On the other hand, don’t drink too little, either.” The crowd erupted in laughter and applause.

But Ellison wasn’t going unchallenged. Watching from the other side of the stage was Tim Naimi, a public health professor at BU who studies binge drinking in the same building as Ellison. He was there to argue the less attractive position: Drinking is distinctly unhealthy. And not in the typical ways you might associate with alcoholism, but in the sense of increased cancer risk—even for moderate drinkers.

Read Full Article: The Muddled Link Between Booze and Cancer | WIRED

Read Full Article: The Muddled Link Between Booze and Cancer | WIRED

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