The Gutsy Gynecologist™️ Show

#213: Does Alcohol Cause Breast Cancer?

April 02, 2024 Dr. Tabatha Episode 213
The Gutsy Gynecologist™️ Show
#213: Does Alcohol Cause Breast Cancer?
Show Notes Transcript

Do you enjoy a nice glass of wine at night? Or maybe going out for drinks on the weekend with your friends? If so, you might want to rethink that choice. Today, in this mini episode, I’m talking about if alcohol causes breast cancer and what you need to consider to live your best, healthiest life!

I talk more on:

  • The shocking stats on the correlation between alcohol and cancer
  • What happens in the liver when you drink alcohol 
  • The connection between alcohol, estrogen and breast cancer
  • And more!

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Dr. Tabatha [00:00:03]:
Hey, welcome back to the gutsy gynecologist show. Okay, today I'm going to answer a question I got about alcohol. They recently heard me on a podcast saying that alcohol increases your risk of breast cancer. Is that actually true? Absolutely. Oh, my gosh. This frustrates me so much because this should be the first thing out of your doctor's mouth when it comes to talking about breast cancer. The whole discussion around it, this is the most modifiable risk factor there is, and it's not talked about enough. So, actually, between the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health, they estimate that 30% to 50% of breast cancer, the risk increase comes from alcohol consumption one to two drinks a day.

Dr. Tabatha [00:01:04]:
And they go on to say there's even a 5% increased risk compared to non drinkers, of women drinking less than one drink a day. So it is dose dependent. The more you drink, the higher you are increasing your risk of developing breast cancer. But they are saying even less than one drink a day increases your risk. So the fact that you consume alcohol at all is a risk. Let's talk about why is that. Okay, well, let's call a spade a spade. Alcohol is a toxin.

Dr. Tabatha [00:01:44]:
That's its job. And that is why you feel the effects of an altered state. It's from those toxins that it produces. Okay, so it's not just affecting your brain, it's affecting multiple systems. As soon as alcohol enters your body, so as soon as you drink it, your stomach and your intestines are affected. It destroys your gastric mucosa and causes leaky gut. It also kills off your good microbiome, so you are prone to gut dysbiosis, meaning bad bacteria overgrowth. Yeast overgrowth problems like that.

Dr. Tabatha [00:02:31]:
Yeast love alcohol. Alcohol gets broken down into sugars that feed yeast and bad bacteria. So it affects your blood sugar, it affects your liver, what is happening in your liver. Okay, so there's a few different things going on. When you drink ethanol alcohol, it gets broken down by alcohol dehydrogenase. That enzyme is actually even in breast tissue. So this is happening everywhere. But that turns it into acetyl aldehyde.

Dr. Tabatha [00:03:06]:
And aldehydes destroy things, so it blocks our antioxidative defense system so that we can't repair our DNA the way that we normally would. It also increases our overall estrogen level because it blocks the two hydroxy pathway to the liver of our estrogen. So once we're done using our estradiol, it gets turned into estrone, and then it can go down different pathways. Alcohol increases the production of four hydroxyestrone. This is the red pathway on the dutch test that you don't want too much of. This is what damages the cells, damage damages the DNA inside the cells, and that increases your risk of cancer. It causes the cells to go rogue and do produce proteins and enzymes that it's not supposed to. So if you want to decrease your risk of cancer, you have to decrease your alcohol intake.

Dr. Tabatha [00:04:14]:
Alcohol also increases your risk of mouth cancer and colon cancer and other cancers. It also decreases your tumor suppressor gene production. So we want tumor suppressor genes to stop tumors from growing. But if you turn that off from alcohol, then you get this overgrowth of cells and tumors, and that can increase your risk as well. So there's multiple things going on from alcohol ingestion alone that increases your risks of cancers, especially breast cancer. So it is multifactorial breast cancer, but alcohol is the biggest driving factor. So get that out of your life. Keep it for a special occasion.

Dr. Tabatha [00:05:08]:
If you have one cocktail every few months, that is going to make a significant positive impact on your overall health going forward. It's a really big deal, you guys. So I hope this was helpful. Please leave me your questions again so that I can answer them. Let me know if this has been beneficial to you. I'm here to serve you, so I'll see you again soon.