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posted by janrinok on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:06AM   Printer-friendly
from the first-they-came-for-your-smokes dept.

Source The Guardian

The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has pinpointed the level of drinking implicated in liver cancer after undertaking what it says was the biggest review so far of the evidence on the relationship between diet, weight, physical activity and the disease.

Its assessment of 34 previous studies covering 8.2 million people, more than 24,500 of whom had liver cancer, revealed “strong evidence” linking intake of three drinks a day to the disease.

“Around three or more drinks per day can be enough to cause liver cancer,” said Amanda Mclean, director of the charity’s UK branch. “Until now we were uncertain about the amount of alcohol likely to lead to liver cancer. But the research reviewed in this report is strong enough, for the first time, to be more specific about this.”

The WCRF’s findings prompted the Alcohol Health Alliance, a coalition of health organisations, to claim that alcohol is so toxic that cans and bottles should carry health warnings.

“Alcohol, like tobacco and asbestos, is a class 1 carcinogen and it is totally unacceptable that the public is not provided with such basic information”, said Prof Sir Ian Gilmore, the alliance’s chair.

On the flip side...

The WCRF’s analysis also found strong evidence that coffee could help protect against liver cancer, though it did not specify the amounts someone needs to drink.

 
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  • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:59PM

    by HiThere (866) on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:59PM (#163022) Journal

    Yes-no. You also need to consider that organs don't scale linearly in size with the body. The livers and kidneys of larger people need to work harder per cc of organ than those of smaller people, so even though the alcohol would be more dilute in a larger body, that doesn't mean it's the same as the same dilution of alcohol in a smaller body.

    Figuring out how this effect scales would probably need to be experimentally determined, and from the summary it's pretty clear that they aren't claiming a precise amount. Merely a detected effect at a relatively low level. However since they present their estimate in the form drinks/day it's fairly certain that they're talking about an effect that was detected with few or no totally sober days. And since they're talking about people it's probably the case that they are operating on self-reported drinking, and that therefor the amounts are underestimates.

    P.S.: I wrote the above after only reading the summary. I'm not a biologist. etc., but after scanning the article it seems pretty clear that this is a meta-analysis of data collected using a variety of protocols. That doesn't make it wrong, but it means that it's not really subject to validation without a separate study...and people don't like to do expensive confirmatory studies because the funding people don't want to pay for it and the scientists involved don't get much credit.

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