In particular, the cytokine interleukin-21 promotes the inflammation of cells. Not only does it play an important role in autoimmune diseases, but it also results in autoimmune-like effects in the presence of chronic low-grade inflammation — such as that caused by excessive drinking. Heavy drinking lowers immunity by impairing your body’s normal defenses. One of the most significant effects of alcohol on the immune system is its effect on white blood cells.


In addition, alcohol is known to impair sleep quality. And the less sleep a person gets, the higher their risk for getting sick. Drinking also makes it harder for your body to properly tend to its other critical functions, like fighting off a disease. Alcohol has been flying off the shelves as people try to combat boredom during lockdown, with some reports estimating that alcoholic beverage sales surged by 55 percent toward the end of March.

How alcohol affects the innate immune system

We’re not talking about, um, some of what may have been portrayed in the media, um, as the down and out. Physical support meetings aren’t happening right now, but the way that support is being offered through the web and social media has really changed. There are electronic meetings available through support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon, CoDA, just to name a few sites. There are also sobriety groups or alcoholics anonymous digital meetings through social media, chat rooms, and telehealth calls. They are not only available for risky drinkers, they are also concerned about the people who have never sought out help and are now drinking more while stuck at home. Binge drinking, in particular, appears to have a negative effect on your immunity. Binge drinking is defined as a pattern of alcohol consumption that rapidly raises blood alcohol concentration levels to 0.08% or higher.

Understanding alcohol and our immune system – Alcohol and Drug Foundation

Understanding alcohol and our immune system.

Posted: Tue, 08 Nov 2022 08:00:00 GMT [source]

Each of these events is mediated by the activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB), which can be inhibited by does alcohol weaken your immune system consumption and thus prevent the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. In vivo studies have confirmed that binge drinking with a blood alcohol concentration of approximately 0.4% can reduce the production of various inflammatory cytokines including interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-10, and IL-12. Much progress has been made in elucidating the relationship between alcohol consumption and immune function and how this interaction affects human health.

How Long Does It Take Your Immune System To Heal After Alcohol Abuse?

The pandemic’s effects of boredom, stress and isolation have also led to anincrease in alcohol useandalcohol addiction. Many people who have never struggled with alcohol use before are finding themselves drinking more and more at a time when promoting optimal immune health is incredibly important. Alcohol can lead tolung diseases, especially pneumonia. Pneumonia is a lung infection that occurs when bacteria or viruses enter the lungs. The immune system responds to pneumonia by flooding the infected area of the lungs with fluid and immune cells.

Why does drinking increase your chances of getting a cold or the flu?

Alcohol can cause dehydration and lower immune system function, which may worsen cold symptoms.

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Does Binge Drinking Suppress Your Immune System More?

I had checked out, um, Twitter, which I do not know, which I do not know anything about and don’t use, but I had been able to find even chat groups on Twitter and places like that. So all of the people that are conversant with social media, they can find things really easily.

  • In moderation, alcohol can cause increased blood sugar, but in excess, it has the opposite effect, often causing a drinker’s blood sugar to plummet.
  • The researchers reported significant reductions in the TNF-α levels three and six hours after the alcohol consumption.
  • Moderate drinking might be especially beneficial if you have low HDL that just won’t budge upward with diet and exercise.
  • Alcohol’s two-faced nature shouldn’t come as a surprise.
  • Gosh, you’ve, you’ve now, you’ve actually got time to check out this hobby you’ve always wanted to think about, but you never had time or learn a new language or take a different kind of class.

Make sure that you are getting enough sleep each night. Lack of sleep can make your body more susceptible to developing ailments and can hold you back from healing your body post active addiction. Engaging in physical activity can improve mood, as well as support an overall healthy lifestyle that coincides with eating well and maintaining a healthy weight. Create healthy, balanced meals using this visual guide as a blueprint. In 2015, more than 10,000 people died in automobile accidents in which alcohol was involved.


For a 60-year-old man, a drink a day may offer protection against heart disease that is likely to outweigh potential harm (assuming he isn’t prone to alcoholism). Moderate drinking can be healthy—but not for everyone. Then comes the effects of alcohol withdrawal, commonly referred to as a hangover.

  • Several studies have also shown that the lungs are highly vulnerable to the effects of alcohol.
  • Alcohol can weaken your immunity to bacteria and viruses in several ways.
  • One mechanism by which oestrogens could modulate the immune reaction is by regulating cytokine expressionReference Ciesielska 39 and reducing pro-inflammatory cytokinesReference Liu, Loo, Palaszynski, Ashouri, Lubahn and Voskuhl 40.
  • Throat cancer affects the throat, voice box, vocal cords, or tonsils.

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