For individuals who consume two to three beers (or more) daily over the course of many years, a new study suggests that they may have a 75 percent increased risk of gastric (stomach) cancer. And for those who also have a certain gene called rs1230025, which is found in about 20 percent of the general population, the chance of getting gastric cancer goes up seven-fold. If you have this gene but aren’t a heavy drinker, your risk of developing gastric cancer is still 30 percent higher than people who drink less than one beer per day.If your mind is like mine, it immediately went to this place: "must be the alcohol." Depressingly, no:
Interestingly, the link to gastric cancer only held true for beer drinkers, while wine or liquor consumption was not associated with an increased risk.For those of you looking for thin reeds upon which to hang hopes, the study didn't look into beer-drinking specifically. Researchers found correlations in an older study ('92-'98) on cancer and nutrition. Your reed is this: correlation isn't causation, and there could be other factors at play. Still, not cool.
“We’ve always assumed that any risk associated with alcoholic beverages is due to the ethanol content and not whether it’s beer, wine or liquor, meaning all spirits consumed in excess pose the same risk. But this new study shows us that beer in particular seems to pose a greater danger to health, at least for stomach cancer,” notes ACSH's Dr. Elizabeth Whelan.