How Alcohol Damages Stem Cells and Increases Cancer Risk–New Research

January 5, 2018

(The Conversation) – After cigarettes, alcohol is perhaps the most common carcinogen that humans voluntarily expose themselves to. How this simple substance promotes cancer, though, has not been clear. But our latest study, using genetically modified mice, sheds some light on the possible mechanism. Our previous research revealed the principle mechanism that protects us from alcohol-induced DNA damage. The first level of this protection consists of an enzyme that converts acetaldehyde – a toxic byproduct created in the body when alcohol is metabolised – into a harmless substance.

Recommended Reading