With cold and flu season at the door, many people will be heading out to get a flu shot. That's a great idea, but research has shown that if you're a moderate drinker, you may have an advantage in fighting off the nasty bugs that come your way.
The key word is "moderate." Supercall, a site about cocktails and culture, notes that studies done at Oregon's Health & Science University collected a dozen rhesus macaques and trained the lucky monkeys to regularly consume doses of alcohol.
The monkeys—who have human-like immune systems—then received the smallpox vaccine. Scientists then divided the dozen into a couple of groups. One group continued getting that sweet alcohol, the other received only sugar water.
Researchers discovered that the monkeys tended to drink much like humans: some were topping off all day, while others naturally fell into moderate patterns of consumption.
This went on for a while, then the scientists gave the monkeys booster shots. They discovered that the level-headed, moderate monkeys' immune systems had actually improved. In fact, they were in better shape than the monkeys who didn't touch the stuff at all.
This points to a clear middle ground: drink too much, all day, every day, and there's plenty of evidence (including from the Oregon study) that it will damage your immune system. Top off with a cocktail or two each night, and you may be right in that immuno-boosted sweet spot.