August 23, 2012
Scientists Claims Evidence Of Carcinogen Found In Alcohol
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Evidence was revealed Wednesday at the 244th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society that alcohol could perhaps have a carcinogenic substance in it that causes cancer.
Silvia Balbo of Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota said at the press conference redOrbit attended that the results of the study are the first to provide evidence that alcohol has carcinogenic effects on living humans.
The very small scale study involved just 10 people from an age of 21 to 31 that were given alcohol in a controlled environment once a week for just three weeks.
As alcohol in the body is breaking down, acetaldehyde is formed, which is considered a chemical backbone that resembles formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen.
"We now have the first evidence from living human volunteers that acetaldehyde formed after alcohol consumption damages DNA dramatically," Balbo said. The "dramatic" damage to the DNA cells only lasted for 24 hours, according to Balbo at the press conference.
She warned in the conference that studies still needed to be done, because data may have been contaminated during the test.
Balbo estimates that 3.6 percent of cancers are related to alcohol consumption, and the substance can cause cancers of the head and neck. Also, she said colon and breast cancers are related to the risk of alcohol consumption.
The scientists working on the study are trying to develop a way to help identify prevention tools, according to Balbo.
Although she promoted the find as the first evidence from humans on how alcohol may boost the risk of cancer, it´s clear a larger study still needs to be performed before you get worried about whether that glass of wine a day will cause cancer.