Rejoice, Science Just Revealed That Booze Battles Colds and the Flu

It turns out that liquor shots are the new flu shots.

Cocktail ingredients Wikimedia

Cocktail ingredients Wikimedia
(Photo: Stefan Giesbert/Wikimedia)

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.

Go ahead and get that flu shot, then head home to celebrate with some bourbon cocktails or even a little gin and juice. It’s good for what ails you.

h/t Supercall