Drinking just a small glass of wine a day can more than double the risk of cancer, a study claims.
It says that consuming just one 125ml glass of wine increases the chance of developing mouth and throat cancer by 168 per cent.
Other cancers are also more likely to strike regular drinkers, the study by France's National Cancer Institute (INCA) reports.
Dominique Maraninchi, INCA's president, said: 'Small daily doses of alcohol are the most harmful. There is no amount, however small, which is good for you.'
The findings go against previous research, which has found that the antioxidants in red wine can actually reduce the risk of cancer.
The INCA study warned: 'The consumption of alcohol is associated with an increase in the risk of cancers - mouth, larynx, oesophagus, colon-rectum, and breast cancer.
'The cause is above all the transformation of ethanol in alcohol to acetaldehyde, which damages DNA in healthy cells.'
This is particularly likely to happen if alcohol is introduced into the body daily - even in small measures, it added.
Official figures show that alcohol is responsible for around 6 per cent - or 9,000 cases - of all cancer deaths in the UK each year, including 5,000 cases of mouth and oesophagus cancer and 2,000 cases of breast cancer.
Dr Jodie Moffat, of charity Cancer Research UK, said: 'We know that drinking just small amounts of alcohol, in the form of beer, wine or spirits, increases the risk of several different types of cancer.
'So the more you cut down on alcohol, the more you can reduce your cancer risk.'
Judy O'Sullivan, of the British Heart Foundation, added: 'Between one and two units of alcohol a day may offer some protection against coronary heart disease.
'But there are much healthier ways to look after your heart.
'There is very little evidence that red wine has any specific benefits over other alcoholic drinks.'