Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Red wine in moderation 'good for the heart', but may cause bowel cancer

After my previous post, on the risks associated with of being left-handed, I come across another article in today's Telegraph which takes aim at the simple pleasures that millions of people enjoy. For years I've been reading that a glass of red wine a day is helpful in reducing the risk of heart disease; now it seems that a couple of [large] glasses a day increase the risk of getting bowel cancer by 25 per cent. Just as with the schizophrenia report, though, the person behind this study, Prof Tim Key, Cancer Research UK epidemiologist and deputy director of the cancer epidemiology unit in Oxford, is quoted as saying, to try and put some kind of perspective on this alarmist report:

"The research shows quite clearly that the more alcohol you drink the greater your risk of bowel cancer.

"The increase in risk is not large but it is important that people understand they can reduce their risk of a number of different cancers - including bowel cancer - by cutting down on alcohol."

On balance I think I shall continue to enjoy my occasional (not necessarily daily) couple of glasses of wine. Obviously I don't want to get a disease which is likely to cause pain and probably premature death, but on the other hand I don't particularly wish to live for ever - I'll take my chances with a bit of moderate enjoyment.

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