Drinking a Bottle of Wine a Week Has Same Risk as Smoking 10 Cigarettes, Says Study

Drinking a Bottle of Wine a Week Has Same Risk as Smoking 10 Cigarettes, Says Study

Since the beginning of the Bulletproof blog, the data has been clear: alcohol is not good for humans, no matter how much we want it to be.

Even moderate alcohol consumption increases a person’s risk of cancer.

Now a new study in the journal BMC Public Health[1] aims to demonstrate that risk by comparing one’s alcohol consumption to a cigarette habit.

One bottle of wine equals 5 to 10 cigarettes

The research finds that just one bottle of wine per week, which is about one glass per night, poses the same cancer risk as smoking five cigarettes a week for men and 10 cigarettes a week for women. For comparison, U.S. smokers consume roughly 14 cigarettes a day.[2]

While that may seem shocking, the researchers point out that occasional drinking is not the same as smoking. Drinking one bottle of wine a week increases a man’s lifetime risk of cancer by 1 percent; it increases a woman’s by 1.4 percent.

Alcohol damages DNA and ups cancer risk

Another study published last year[3] found that when your body metabolizes alcohol, it produces a toxic chemical that leads to permanent DNA damage and cancer risk.

The chemical, acetaldehyde, is linked to the risk of developing seven types of cancer, including breast and bowel cancer.

That’s why we suggest that people continue to look at alcohol as an occasional enjoyment, but not something that’s at all good for you.

Best and worst alcohol to lower cancer risk

What isn’t in the study is that different alcohol types and purity levels can make a big difference – distilled alcohol will have fewer impurities, and impurities themselves oftentimes lead to cancer. This is especially true in unfiltered wine and beer.

To stay strong and resilient, be careful what you drink and how much.

Use the Bulletproof What to Drink: Bulletproof Alcohol Infographic and Hangover Cures for a primer on the best and worst options.

My advice is to drink smaller amounts of really good stuff – like potato vodka (avoiding grains entirely), which is distilled and charcoal filtered, so your body only copes with the alcohol (no other toxins). If wine is still your go-to, opt for a drier variety that has less inflammation-producing mold, like Dry Farm Wines.

To blunt the aldehyde spike and mitigate damage, follow the Bulletproof protocol when you do choose to drink.

Glutathione & vitamin C: Increase levels of an antioxidant called glutathione in your liver by taking a glutathione supplement with vitamin C.

Charcoal: Take 4 capsules of activated charcoal after drinking.

Get the full rundown on how to avoid alcohol damage and hangovers here.

And when you’re not drinking, block those toxins in your diet overall with the Bulletproof Diet. Get the free Bulletproof Roadmap here.

If you are struggling with alcohol addiction, read this piece on how to quit drinking for good.

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