4. Limit alcohol use. Many studies have concluded that moderate drinking (no more than one glass of beer or wine a day for women; two for men) can reduce the risk of heart disease—the nation's No. 1 killer. But the PCRM report notes those benefits need to be weighed against research that shows heavy alcohol consumption can increase the risk of certain cancers in some people—notably cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colon, rectum and breast.
Other factors may also compound those risks. For instance, mouth, pharynx and larynx cancers are rare in nonsmokers, so the heart-health benefits of alcohol may outweigh the risks for non-smokers.
PCRM's conclusion: "Limiting or avoiding alcohol may reduce the risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colon and rectum, and breast [but] moderate alcohol use is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular ... and Alzheimer's disease."
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