Tag Archives: alcohol

Can Alcohol Trigger a Latent Breast Cancer Gene?

It is common knowledge that drinking alcohol raises your risk of developing certain conditions such as cardiovascular disease, but can it also contribute directly to breast cancer? The answer is yes. According to multiple studies gathered by the American Cancer Society, as well as a particularly illuminating study conducted by a team of cancer biologists and researchers from the University of Houston, regular alcohol consumption is directly linked to escalating risk of breast cancer development in women.

How Does Drinking Alcohol Raise Breast Cancer Risk?

Alcohol can raise the risk of breast cancer in several ways:

  1. By increasing estrogen levels in the body which can contribute to hormone receptor positive cancer development.
  2. By damaging cells – alcohol is known to mutate healthy cells into harmful ones that make any part of the body more vulnerable to cancer, including breast tissue.
  3. By activating a latent cancer gene and decreasing the effectiveness of cancer medications: According to University of Houston cancer biologist Chin-Yo Lin, “Our research shows alcohol enhances the actions of estrogen in driving the growth of breast cancer cells and diminishes the effects of the cancer drug Tamoxifen on blocking estrogen by increasing the levels of a cancer-causing gene called BRAF.”

How Many Drinks Increase This Risk?

Even consuming 1 alcoholic beverage daily increases a woman’s breast cancer risk. According to the Breast Cancer Organization those who regularly consume 3-5 drinks have a 15% higher chance of developing breast cancer than women who don’t drink at all, with the risk rising by 10% with each additional drink consumed on a daily basis.

What About Cocktail Hour?

We aren’t saying women should never drink – we simply hope to make people aware of this research-established link between breast cancer and regular alcohol consumption. If you are a moderate drinker who is concerned about your breast cancer risk, there are ways you can curb your alcohol intake but still enjoy socializing. You can enjoy your favorite drinks ‘virgin style’ or opt for a couple social drinks a week instead of a couple daily indulgences. The Cancer Organization suggests limiting alcohol consumption to no more than 1 daily drink for women.

Other Lifestyle Factors To Watch

Aside from watching alcohol intake, there are other lifestyle changes you can make to help decrease your breast cancer risk. While making these changes doesn’t guarantee you won’t develop cancer, behaviors that may help you beat the odds include:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Keeping your weight in check
  • Practicing caution when it comes to birth control or hormone therapy
  • Limiting toxin exposure

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QUIZ – How Much Do You Know About Alcohol Use Versus Abuse?

The line between use versus abuse may not be as clear as it seems – do you know how much alcohol is in one drink? Or how about what constitutes an episode of binge drinking? Let’s find out. Take a look at the statements below – are they true or false? Try to give the quiz a shot before looking at the answers below. You can write “T or F” for each number on a piece of paper and check your answers at the end. No scrolling down!

  1. Between 30-40 thousand deaths are caused by alcohol abuse each year.
  2. Alcohol is the third most used and abused addictive substance in the United States.
  3. Aside from those in the maternity or intensive care units, up to 40% of American hospital patients are there because of alcohol-related health issues.
  4. Alcoholism increases the risk of oral, organ and intestinal cancers.
  5. Men are more likely to be involved in a fatal alcohol-related car accident.
  6. Frequent binge drinking is not as much of a concern as daily alcohol dependence.
  7. Adults 25 and younger engage in the majority of binge drinking episodes.
  8. One alcoholic drink contains about 1.2 tablespoons of pure alcohol.
  9. You are considered a ‘moderate drinker’ if you are a male who has 2 drinks daily, or a female who has 1 drink daily.
  10. Approximately 5 or more drinks for men, and 4 or more drinks for women on a single occasion constitutes an episode of binge drinking.




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  1. FALSE. Over 88,000 Americans die because of alcohol abuse annually.
  2. FALSE. Alcohol is actually the number 1 most used addictive substance in the United States. Furthermore, the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Defense (NCADD) approximates that 1 in every 12 American adults (about 17.6 million) abuses or is dependent on alcohol.
  3. TRUE. According to the NCADD, excluding maternity and ICU, approximately 40% of hospital beds at any given hospital in the United States are being used to treat alcohol-related (or alcohol-exacerbated) health conditions at any given time.
  4. TRUE. Alcoholism increases the risk of certain cancers, such as esophageal, mouth, throat, larynx and liver.
  5. TRUE. Men are actually twice as likely as women to be involved in an alcohol-related car accident death.
  6. FALSE. Participating in regular binge drinking episodes can have just as many negative effects as someone who drinks less daily.
  7. FALSE. According to the CDC, adults 26 and older account for 70% of binge drinking episodes. However, while youth do drink less often than older adults, when they do drink it is almost always dangerous binge-style.
  8. TRUE. One drink contains about 0.6 ounces (or 1.2 tablespoons) of alcohol.
  9. TRUE. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 1 drink daily for men and 2 for women constitutes moderate drinking.
  10. TRUE. According to the CDC, approximately 5 or more drinks for men or 4 or more drinks for women on a single occasion constitutes an episode of binge drinking.

How did you do? Hopefully 10/10! Feel free to try our Smoking Quiz next. To read more about signs of addiction and how to get help, check out our post on alcohol abuse. Thanks for visiting DocChat!

10 Hangover Helper Tips

Hangover Man in a Bed at Night

There are a number of simple steps you can take before, during, and after the festivities that your morning-after self will thank you for.

1. Eat something

Alcohol is absorbed much more quickly on an empty stomach, so having a proper meal before you start drinking will help slow down the process and allow you to keep partying well into the night.

2. Take a Multivitamin

When you drink, nutrients like B12 and Folate are depleted from the body.  Having a multivitamin can replenish the levels that may be lost from drinking.

3. Keep Track, and Take Your Time

Our bodies absorb alcohol faster than we can metabolize it, so sip slowly,  and pay attention to how many drinks you’re consuming throughout the evening.  It takes the body about one hour to metabolize each drink you have, so keep that in the back of your mind as you go for refills. 

4. Water is Your Friend

This should be a no-brainer.  Alcohol dehydrates your body, which is the main factor that causes hangovers.  Experts recommend drinking one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you consume.  Or, try alternating your booze with a non-alcoholic drink. 

5. Pass on the Bubbles

According to research, bubbles from champagne or carbonated beverages may cause alcohol to be absorbed more quickly.

6. Light Over Dark, and Expensive Over Cheap Booze

It all comes down to something called congeners, which are chemicals associated with the color, taste, and smell of alcohol.  A higher percentage of congeners has been shown to result in greater hangover effects.  Drinks that are darker in color tend to have more, as well as cheaper alcohol that has not been distilled as many times as their more expensive counterparts.

7. On The Rocks

Having your drinks over ice is a smart way to get a little extra hydration boost.  As the ice melts, it dilutes the alcohol ever so slightly

8. Skip The Smokes

A study from Brown University showed that smoking cigarettes while drinking increased the likelihood of having a severe hangover.

9. Get Some Electrolytes

The body loses more than just water when we are dehydrated, so it’s important to replace them after a night of drinking.  We recommend Pedialyte over Gatorade due to its higher concentration of electrolytes and low sugar.  We also love coconut water and have friends that swear by Emergen-C.

10. Breakfast of Champions

Fruit juice is a good option to jumpstart your blood sugar.  Eggs contain taurine, which has been shown to reverse some of that newly acquired liver damage.  Spinach is rich in vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants.  Soups made with clear broth go down easy and are another great way to rehydrate.  Refuel your body and you’re well on your way to feeling brand new again.

Bonus Tip:  Know Your Pain Pills

Avoid taking acetaminophen pain relievers like Tylenol, because when taken in conjunction with alcohol, they can cause liver damage.  Instead, take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug like Ibuprofen or Naproxen to ease your aches and pains after drinking.

5 Habits That Are Deteriorating Your Health

bad habits

It is never too late to correct bad habits. Our lifestyles are a sum total of our everyday small habits. Learn to recognize these bad habits and work on getting rid of them. These five unhealthiest habits are affecting you negatively:

1. Eating too much fast food

Fast food might seem satisfying in the moment when you are too rushed or exhausted to cook food at home. Grabbing a quick bite to eat is a very convenient option. But in the long run, high consumption of fast food will lead to serious health issues, such as heart problems, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, to name a few. The high fat and sodium content in fast food are the reason for the increased rates of obesity in the developed world. Kick this habit as soon as possible, your future self will thank you.

2. Stressing out about little things

Constant worrying about little things will turn you into a perpetual worry machine. It will cause your anxiety levels to rise, as a torrent of stress hormones floods the body. Stress will affect your immune system and vital organs. Try meditation and therapy if you find yourself worrying frequently.

3. Skipping breakfast

Skipping the morning meal will cause your energy levels to plummet during the day. You will feel less productive and fatigued as the day goes by. You will create a cycle of starve-overindulge in your eating pattern. The healthiest thing for your body is to have a low fat, fiber rich breakfast every day.

4. Drinking too much alcohol

If you tend to overindulge in alcohol frequently you can be causing harm to your body. Alcohol will increase your risk of liver cancer, high blood pressure, and depression. The physical and mental toll of alcoholism is heavy and must be avoided, drinking in moderation is the key. If moderation is not possible than try curbing the habit altogether.

5. Smoking

This is the worst habit to have. Smoking is basically breathing in toxic, cancer-causing chemicals into your lungs. Smokers are at an increased risk for lung cancer, heart diseases and other cancers. Almost 80% to 90% of lung cancer cases can be traced back to smoking. A smoker will face heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. Quitting can reverse the damage or at least significantly lower the chances of suffering.

If you are in the habit of doing any of these activities, it is best to quit now and take a step towards wellness and happy living. Replace these bad habits with good ones and you will feel a marked improvement in health and fitness.