Bring on the spiked eggnog! According to a new study, it’s not an apple a day that keeps the doctor away—it’s cocktails!
Researchers from Oregon Health & Science University rounded up 12 rhesus macaques for the 14-month study, based on the similarity between their immune system and that of humans. The monkeys were vaccinated against small pox and then divided into two groups—one that was given food, water, and sugar water, and another that was given food, water, and access to cocktails with four percent ethanol.
Like humans, the boozing monkeys varied in how much they drank—some indulged all day long, while others kept a moderate intake. Seven months later, the monkeys were given small pox booster shots.
The results of the booster shot varied according to how much alcohol the monkey drank. The heavy drinkers’ immune systems had a poor response to the vaccine. Meanwhile, the moderate drinkers actually had a better immune response than even the control group that drank no alcohol.
While we don’t condone animal experiments, unfortunately, these findings are based on just that. With that said, we feel that the potential immune-boosting benefits are worth commenting on.
More research is still needed (sign me up!), but the researchers say a possible explanation is that moderate amounts of alcohol actually stimulate the immune system. I’ll drink to that!
7 Weird & Fun Immune-Boosters