Red wine kills cancer cells

Seitz only sees a scientifically proven advantage of a glass of alcohol per day for people who are older than 65 and have already suffered a heart attack or who are at risk from cardiology with high blood pressure and high blood lipid levels.

It is also increasingly evident that even moderate consumption of alcohol can damage one's health. Small amounts attack the mucous membrane cells in the oral cavity, esophagus and stomach. The acids found in alcoholic beverages, such as malic or succinic acid, cause stomach and duodenal ulcers. The gastroenterologist Manfred Singer from the University of Heidelberg therefore advises always drinking alcohol with food, because it buffers the acids.

Even with small amounts, the risk of developing tumors in the oral cavity, throat or esophagus increases - albeit only slightly. This was shown by an evaluation of 19 studies published in 2011. According to the European EPIC study on cancer and nutrition, alcohol also increases susceptibility to colon and liver cancer. In women, the daily drink also increases the likelihood of breast cancer by seven to eight percent. Here, too, it makes no difference whether barley or grape juice is preferred, even if this is claimed on the website of the German Wine Academy.

Prevention specialist David Nelson of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda calculates that 30 percent of all cancers that occur as a result of alcohol in the USA are preceded by a daily consumption of less than 20 grams. One possible explanation for this: Because the liver prefers to break down alcohol, it no longer detoxifies carcinogens. Nelson concludes from his data that reducing alcohol consumption is a previously underestimated strategy in cancer prophylaxis. The daily glass is particularly dangerous when it is smoked - the increase in risk for the individual tumor types is then greater than the pure addition of the individual risks.

The authors of the EPIC study therefore conclude: "Even if moderate drinking reduces the risk of heart disease, the net effect is still negative." The courts also see no reason for health advertising on the labels of wine or beer. Only recently, the European Court of Justice banned winegrowers from the Palatinate region from calling their wine "wholesome". After all, such "health-related statements" are not permitted from an alcohol content of 1.2 percent by volume.

Two years ago there was a similar decision by the Berlin Regional Court regarding beer. Nevertheless, the Heidelberg researcher Seitz says: "Healthy people do not have to completely ban alcohol from their lives." However, they should have two alcohol-free days a week to counteract addiction. "Alcohol is not a drug, but a stimulant that can be consumed toxic in high doses.