Want a better immune system? Have a dram. But just one—overdoing it won’t help.
According to a study published in Vaccine, moderate drinking may help our immune system, more than heavy drinking or not drinking at all. For the study, researchers divided Rhesus monkeys (which have similar immune systems to people) into to groups. One group was give access to sugar water, while a second (the fun group) was give access to a four per cent ethanol solution. Both had regular access to pure water and food.
The animals were vaccinated against small pox at the beginning of the study and once more at the seven-month mark. Researchers monitored the monkeys for a total of fourteen months. Of the drinking monkeys, some ended up being heavy drinkers, regularly having a blood alcohol level or more than 0.08, and some ended up being moderate drinkers, with a blood alcohol level of 0.02-0.04.
Of the now three groups of monkeys, the ones with the worst response to the vaccination were the heavy drinkers. However, the next-worst were the ones who only had access to sugar water, with the best monkeys being the moderate drinkers.
So, have a glass of wine with dinner—just don’t overdo it.