Researchers Discover Carcinogens in Alcoholic Beverages

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Staff Writer
Scientists say consuming more than 4 drinks a day increases cancer risk

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Passionate wine drinkers are aware of the many substances found in their wines. Things like acids, tannins, and resveratrol float around in every glass. A new study has found that carcinogens can be found in those wines as well, according to WineSpectator.com.

The study, performed by researchers at the Dresden University of Technology, found more than trace levels of carcinogens in a sample of commercial alcoholic beverages, with those found including arsenic, benzene, formaldehyde, and lead. The scientists found that ethanol, the carcinogen with the highest concentration in alcoholic drinks, is three and a half times more likely to cause cancer in those who have four or more drinks a day than those who have fewer, according to the article on WineSpectator.com.

While the study showed that light to moderate alcohol consumption bears little risk of cancer, Dirk Lachenmeier, an epidemiologist and the study’s lead author, said consumers should still be made aware of the contents of their drinks. Because red wine is known for its healthful properties, Lachenmeier has had to respond critics of his findings quite a bit.

From WineSpectator.com:

"One argument against the scientists' point is that some studies have found evidence that compounds in red wine may lower breast cancer risk. Lachenmeier conceded that red wine may contain cancer-preventing substances, but this is not measured in the current study. He counters that these conclusions remain conjecture for the time being. 'Most studies on such compounds, like resveratrol, are based on in-vitro results, which are not usable for quantitative dose-response analyses as conducted in our study,' he said."

— Wayne Stainrook, Snooth

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