Rejoice, Science Just Revealed That Booze Battles Colds and the Flu
It turns out that liquor shots are the new flu shots.
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.