Alcohol can cause irreversible genetic damage to stem cells, says study

Source: The Guardian

BY Science correspondent

Link between drinking and cancer clarified by study which indicates alcohol causes cancer by scrambling DNA in cells, eventually leading to mutations

Just one pint of lager or a large glass of wine a day significantly increases the risk of mouth, throat, oesophageal, breast and bowel cancers.
 Just one pint of lager or a large glass of wine a day significantly increases the risk of mouth, throat, oesophageal, breast and bowel cancers. Photograph: Alamy

Alcohol can cause irreversible genetic damage to the body’s reserve of stem cells, according to a study that helps explain the link between drinking and cancer.

The research, using genetically modified mice, provides the most compelling evidence to date that alcohol causes cancer by scrambling the DNA in cells, eventually leading to deadly mutations.

During the past decade, there has been mounting evidence of the link between drinking and the risk of certain cancers.

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