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What’s the “Buzz” About Alcohol?

I hope you are enjoying the winter season.

This month’s Newsletter is about the new research on alcohol.

Two new definitive statements about the dangers of alcohol were released this past January 2023 by the World Health Organization and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. (1,2)

These groundbreaking pronouncements have shaken and stirred the general consensus that drinking alcohol in moderation is good for you.  The word was that two drinks per day for a man and one drink per day for a woman were cardioprotective and might even decrease the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes.

The new dictum from the WHO and the Canadian Centre is: “No level of alcohol consumption is safe for your health”   That’s right. Zip, none!

The World Health Organization now states that the risk of disease from alcohol starts from the first drop!

Dr. Carina Borges, the WHO advisor for alcohol, claims that “the risk to a drinker’s health starts from the first drop of any alcoholic beverage.”(1) If you drink more, your risk of developing disease increases proportionately and alcohol is known to cause seven cancers including bowel and female breast.

Furthermore, the WHO reports that moderate or light alcohol drinkers in the European region developed half of the cancers caused by alcohol, including the most alcohol-related breast cancers.

The WHO believes that the potential good effects of light and moderate drinking are outweighed by the risk of cancer associated with the same level of drinking.

Dr. Borges claims it doesn’t matter how much one drinks because there is no safe level of alcohol intake.  Quantity counts.  More is more harmful, less is safer.

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction substantiates the WHO report.  The Centre states that drinking alcohol is dose-dependent in terms of health risks.  The more you drink the higher your chance of having adverse health outcomes.  

A standard alcoholic beverage drink in Canada is close to the US standard drink–13.45 grams of alcohol vs. 14 grams of alcohol.

In the United States, a standard drink contains 0.6 ounces (14.0 grams or 1.2 tablespoons) of pure alcohol. Generally, this amount of pure alcohol is found in

  • 12-ounces of beer (5% alcohol content).
  • 8-ounces of malt liquor (7% alcohol content).
  • 5-ounces of wine (12% alcohol content).
  • 1.5-ounces of 80-proof (40% alcohol content) distilled spirits or liquor (e.g., gin, rum, vodka, whiskey).(3)

 Here is a helpful guide form the Canadian Report to assess your health risks:

  • 0 drinks per week—goal
  • 1-2 standard drinks per week—will likely avoid alcohol-related consequences for yourself and others. 
  • 3-6 standard drinks per week—increased risk of different types of cancer, including breast and colon cancer.
  • 7 or more standard drinks per week—increased risk of heart disease or stroke 

What are the specific health risks caused by alcohol?

The Center for Disease Control research further indicates that alcohol use is related to:

  • “High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems.
  • Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, voice box, liver, colon, and rectum.
  • Weakening of the immune system, increasing the chances of getting sick.
  • Learning and memory problems, including dementia and poor school performance.”(4)

Other health consequences of alcohol use:

  • Nutrient depletion such as Vitamin B1(Thiamine), B6, B12,  and Folate
  • Weight gain
  • Osteoporosis

So what’s a person to do with these new startling recommendations? I think it is important to look at our lifestyle behaviors and our risk factors for disease, and soberly reflect on how we would like to proceed.  I believe that limiting and if possible, avoiding alcohol intake is a good thing for our health and well-being.  


On a more upbeat note, I want to tell you about my dear friend and colleague, Dr. Patricia Muehsam’s upcoming webinar tomorrow:

The 3 Keys to Healing Yourself & Transforming Your Life

Dr. Muehsam has been there. She’s struggled with health issues, she’s struggled with the challenges that life throws at us. And through it all, she’s come to learn that there is a simple, effortless way to thrive, to feel well in our bodies, to feel peace within. In Dr. Trish’s free LIVE webinar, The 3 Keys to Healing Yourself and Transforming Your Life, please click this for Dr. Muehsam’s Webinar Registration, she’ll teach you how to do just that. I encourage you to attend. You’ll discover a way to well-being that is extraordinary in its ease and profound in its results!


1.  https://www.who.int/europe/news/item/04-01-2023-no-level-of-alcohol-consumption-is-safe-for-our-health

2.  https://ccsa.ca/sites/default/files/2023-01/CCSA_Canadas_Guidance_on_Alcohol_and_Health_Final_Report_en.pdf

3. https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohols-effects-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/

4. https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/ 

5. https://www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S2468-2667%2822%2900317-6

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