'Scientists' proove 'scientists' need more money

Alcohol has been ­identified  as a major cause of cancer.

Really? Do tell us more, because as a drinker of alcohol, I'm sure your studies are scientifically sound, completely unbiased and compelling enough to make me want to give up the demon drink immediately.
US scientists have found that the key ingredient, ethanol, can trigger throat, liver, breast and gut disease.
When the body breaks alcohol down it turns it into a chemical that is similar to formaldehyde. This can cause DNA damage and affect cells in certain areas of the body.
It is the first time it has been proven that alcohol itself can cause cancer.

So what is this un-named chemical that is similar to formaldehyde? A bit of Googling may have provided the answer

Most alcohol is broken down, or metabolised, by an enzyme in your liver cells known as alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH). ADH breaks down alcohol into acetaldehyde,

And as it turns out, acetaldehyde does actually does cause cancer.
Acetaldehyde is a probable carcinogen in humans. In the year 1988 the International Agency for Research on Cancer stated, "There is sufficient evidence for the carcinogenicity of acetaldehyde in experimental animals." In October 2009 the International Agency for Research on Cancer updated the classification of acetaldehyde stating that acetaldehyde included in and generated endogenously from alcoholic beverages is a Group I human carcinogen. In addition, acetaldehyde is damaging to DNA and causes abnormal muscle development as it binds to proteins.

A study of 818 heavy drinkers found that those who are exposed to more acetaldehyde than normal through a defect in the gene for acetaldehyde dehydrogenase are at greater risk of developing cancers of the upper gastrointestinal tract and liver

So it's clearly not the first time it's been proven that alcohol causes cancer.

'Studies have shown', as they say, that alcohol poses a greater risk of cancer for heavy drinkers with a defective gene.

Let's have some more of that earlier quote:

Most alcohol is broken down, or metabolised, by an enzyme in your liver cells known as alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH). ADH breaks down alcohol into acetaldehyde, and then another enzyme, aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), rapidly breaks down acetaldehyde into acetate. The acetate is further metabolised, and eventually leaves your body as carbon dioxide and water.

So what have they proven? Heavy drinkers with a genetic defect may get cancer. Hardly a 'major cause' is it? I like those odds. Have they any more to tell us? Not yet, they need more cash.

But because the research was carried out in labs “more studies in animals and humans will be necessary”, Dr Philip Brooks wrote in Alcoholism: Clinical and ­Experimental Research

More studies of something that has already been studied and is available on Wikipedia. Get your wallets out, taxpayers.

PS. I'm not very scientifically minded so if any real scientists are reading this and spot it to be bollocks, please let me know.

2 Comments:

Macheath said...

Bucko said...