There is little doubt that heavy alcohol consumption, binge drinking, and drinking alcohol while pregnant are harmful, but moderate alcohol consumption carries both risks and benefits (decreasing the risk of heart disease, increasing the risk of cancer, decreasing the risk of one type of stroke and increasing the risk of another). In particular, there appears to be a adverse affects on breast cancer risk, though if you are going to drink, choose red wine. Alcohol contributes to cancer risk and is a known cancer promoter. Alcohol also increases liver disease mortality. Alcoholic drinks do not count towards one’s phytochemical index (one type of healthy eating score). And some types of mushrooms, such as morels, should never be consumed with alcohol. Alcohol’s effect appears to be neutral with regard to atrial fibrillation.

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