Tags: alcohol | immune | vaccine | effective | drink | moderate

Drink With Vaccination May Boost Effectiveness: Study

By    |   Monday, 23 Dec 2013 03:02 PM

Here's another reason to raise a glass to toast your health in the new year: New research has found moderate alcohol can boost the immune system and improve the body's response to vaccination.
 
The findings, published in the journal Vaccine and reported by Medical News Today, may lead to a better understanding of how the immune system works and improve its ability to respond to vaccines and infections, said researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of California-Riverside.
 
"These surprising findings indicate that some of the beneficial effects of moderate amounts of alcohol consumption may be manifested through boosting the body's immune system," said lead researcher Ilhem Messaoudi. "This supports what has been widely believed for some time: Moderate ethanol consumption results in a reduction in all causes of mortality, especially cardiovascular disease. As for excessive alcohol consumption, our study shows that it has a significant negative impact on health."
 
For the study, the researchers trained 12 monkeys to consume alcohol freely after being vaccinated against smallpox. One group of the monkeys was allowed access to beverages containing 4 percent alcohol, while another group drank only sugar water as part of their regular diets.
 
The monkeys were then monitored for a little over a year and were vaccinated again 7 months into the experiment. The results showed the monkeys defined as "heavy drinkers" — defined as having a blood ethanol concentration more than 0.08 percent — had diminished responses to the vaccine, compared with those who consumed sugar water. But the monkeys deemed "moderate drinkers," with a BEC of between 0.02 percent to 0.04 percent — had an enhanced vaccine response.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, moderate drinking is defined as no more than four alcoholic drinks on any single day for men (three per day for women) and no more than 14 in total over a week for men (seven for women).
 
"If you have a family history of alcohol abuse, or are at risk, or have been an abuser in the past, we are not recommending you go out and drink to improve your immune system," noted Messaoudi. "But for the average person that has, say, a glass of wine with dinner, it does seem, in general, to improve health, and cardiovascular function in particular, and now we can add the immune system to that list."
 

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New research has found moderate alcohol can boost the immune system and improve the body's response to vaccination.
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2013-02-23
Monday, 23 Dec 2013 03:02 PM
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