There are different types of alcoholic drinks. Their names and the alcohol content in them are as follows:
- Beers and hard ciders: 3-7 percent alcohol
Wines, including sake: 9-15 percent alcohol
Wines fortified with liquors, such as port: 16-20 percent alcohol
Liquors or distilled spirits, such as gin, rum, vodka and whiskey, which are produced by distilling the alcohol from fermented grains, fruits or vegetables: usually 30-40 percent alcohol or higher
Why is alcohol called the liquid carcinogen?
Head and neck cancer
How does alcohol increase the risk of cancer?
- Alcohol metabolizes (breaks down) ethanol in alcoholic drinks to acetaldehyde, a toxic chemical and also a probable human carcinogen. Both DNA (the genetic material that makes up genes) and proteins can be damaged by acetaldehyde.
- Alcohol generates reactive oxygen species (chemically relative molecules that contain oxygen). DNA, proteins and lipids (fats) can be damaged by it through a process called oxidation.
- Alcohol reduces the body’s ability to break down and absorb a variety of nutrients that may be associated with cancer risk, including vitamin A, nutrients in the vitamin B complex, such as folate, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E and carotenoids.
- Alcohol increases blood levels of estrogen, a sex hormone which is linked to the risk of breast cancer.
A variety of carcinogenic contaminants may also be present in alcoholic beverages. They are introduced during fermentation and production. They include nitrosamines, asbestos fibres, phenols and hydrocarbons.
“Alcohol: Temporary fun but with permanent consequence!” —– Author unknown