The dangers of alcohol are considerable. Just as occurs with heavy drinking, light alcohol consumption has been linked to cirrhosis and cancer of the liver, a number of other cancers (of the breast, mouth, throat, and esophagus), as well as high blood pressure, hemorrhagic stroke, osteoporosis, and depression.

Some of the findings:

Much of the following is based upon a "drinks per day" but the reader should understand these are averages so heavy drinking on one night may be considered equivalent to these "drinks per day".

The risk of cirrhosis can jump dramatically with two to three drinks a day and may even increase in some cases with one or two drinks a day. Alcohol can increase the risk of breast cancer beginning at just a few drinks a week. One study showed that breast cancer was 50 percent more likely to develop in women who consume three to nine drinks per week than in women who drink fewer than three drinks a week. Alcohol has been linked to cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, and esophagus at less than one drink a day. Two drinks a day can increase a woman's risk of hip fracture by shrinking her bone mass.

Alcohol has a number of other negative effects. The reader probably knows that it can dull a person's mental edge, judgment, coordination, reaction time, and memory. Drinking can also disturb blood sugar levels, impair sexual functioning, and even interfere with normal sleep patterns, making it more difficult to stay asleep and suppressing up to 20% of rapid eye movements (REM) in the restorative stage of sleep.

Heavy drinking can actually cause the brain to shrink. Can you hear it rattling up there when you run ???