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Moderate drinking cuts risk of some brain tumours by 25%, reveals study

Light to moderate alcohol consumption has been found to reduce the risk of glioma brain tumours by a quarter, new research shows.

A study conducted by the International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research has found that light to moderate alcohol consumption does not increase the risk of glioma tumours to the brain. In fact, alcohol consumption over many decades was found to actually reduce the risk.

According to the study’s findings, cumulative average consumption of total alcohol of around 0.5 to one drink per day was associated with a 25% lower risk of glioma when compared with the lowest alcohol intake (those who consume 0 to 0.5 drinks per day). The findings were the same for both men and women, and there were no differences according to the type of alcoholic beverage consumed.

The comprehensive research led by Professor R Curtis Ellison concluded that: “Light-to-moderate alcohol consumption, versus no alcohol intake or very occasional drinking, does not increase the risk; such consumption showed a significant reduction in the risk of glioma tumours of the brain.”

It follows on from the debunking of a flawed claim published in The Lancet in 2018 that there is “no safe level of alcohol consumption”. Indeed, a large body of evidence has shown that moderate drinking offers protection against certain diseases, especially cardiovascular ones.

Sir Nicholas Ward of University College London, who called the bold claim into question in October last year by identifying holes in the way the research was carried out, concluded that: “One need not feel that the only safe alcohol intake is zero.”

Professor Ellison’s latest findings regarding drinking and glioma brain tumours were gleaned from multiple assessments over several decades, combining data from more than 200,000 subjects.

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