It is well known that light to moderate drinking (10-25 g/day) has a protective effect on ischaemic heart disease. This effect seems independent of the type of alcoholic beverage. Recently, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (World Health Organization) stated that alcoholic beverages are carcinogenic for human (oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, colorectum, liver and breast). There is a dose-response relationship between alcohol and cancer in that the risk of cancer increases proportionally with alcohol consumption. Low doses of alcohol (10 g/day) are associated with an increased risk for oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus and breast cancer. Therefore, a physically active lifestyle and a healthy diet are more effective in preventing ischaemic heart disease than a low level of alcohol consumption.