The study calls for more regulations around alcohol use, he said.
"The widely held view of the health benefits of alcohol needs revising, particularly as improved methods and analyses continue to show how much alcohol use contributes to global death and disability".
Analysing data from 15 to 95-year-olds, the researchers compared people who did not drink at all with those who had one alcoholic drink a day.
There is some evidence that alcohol may reduce the risk of heart disease very slightly, but that effect is more than outweighed by the other damage it causes.
Before the Lancet study, drinking alcohol was touted as a route to better health.
The study shows that one in three, or 2.4 billion people around the world, drink alcohol. "This level is in conflict with most health guidelines, which espouse health benefits associated with consuming up to two drinks per day".
The lead author of the study Dr Max Griswold, at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), University of Washington, said: "Previous studies have found a protective effect of alcohol on some conditions, but we found that the combined health risks associated with alcohol increases with any amount of alcohol".
"We also found a positive association between higher cumulative lifetime alcohol intake and high-grade prostate cancer diagnosis", the team wrote in their report, published in Cancer Prevention Research.More news: Federal judge blocks release of blueprints for 3D-printed guns
No amount of moderation could minimize the health risks alcohol causes, the researchers concluded.
Prof Saxena said the study was the most important study ever conducted on the subject.
A new health study is now saying that even one glass of alcohol risks hurting your overall health. "Some studies also overlook illicit trade and home brewing", CBS News reported.
Overall, drinking was the seventh leading risk factor for premature death and disease in 2016, accounting for just over two per cent of deaths in women and almost seven per cent in men.
It now appears that the one or two drinks a couple of times a week, touted for long as moderate drinking, isn't healthy.
Britain's health authority, for example, suggests not exceeding 14 drinks per week "to keep health risks from alcohol to a low level".
By the way, the last thing they drink in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt and Morocco. There are much higher risks for disease and death with more drinks consumed, according to the study.
"Given the pleasure presumably associated with moderate drinking, claiming there is no "safe" level does not seem an argument for abstention", he said."There is no safe level of driving, but the government does not recommend that people avoid driving".