So what does this all mean for those of us who like a tipple or two…or even three? For a start, many of the experiments into alcohol, cancer and epigenetic modifications have investigated relatively high levels of drinking, and the data is less clear for those with more moderate tastes. We also know from research that a high-folate diet can help to reduce the risk of certain cancers, especially bowel cancer. For suggestions, try our Epigenetic Café.

But what’s less clear is whether boosting fruit and veg (or liver) intake, stocking up on fortified cereal or popping a B-vitamin supplement can counteract the carcinogenic effects of a binge. And until there’s a quick and cheap test to tell if your genes are suitable for a big night out, the evidence suggests that it’s best to limit alcohol intake to just a couple of units per day. For women, that’s about 2 units per day, and for men it’s around 3. And depending on whether you think your glass is half full or half empty, you can use this handy online calculator to find out just how much (or how little) that really is. 

Cheers!