New research reveals that alcohol impairs your body's ability to fight off viral infections. Isn't it enough that it already impairs your ability to drive, talk clearly, and not over-tip strippers? Damn it, alcohol, what more do you want?
Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School found that monocytes (a type of white blood cell that has heroic anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties) were weakened by alcohol consumption, and that prolonged alcohol consumption had a double-negative effect. A double-negative, in this instance, does not equal a positive, in case you got hopeful for a second there.
Experientially, unscientifically, I've found this to be true. If I feel like I'm on the verge of getting sick and I go out and get sloshed, I'm probably going to get sick. If I tea total, I'm usually fine... just bored. The researchers found this effect to be particularly dramatic in the liver, which may make drinkers much more susceptible to Hepatitis-C. Particularly scary, given how much more common unprotected sex is when alcohol is involved. Ugg. Take care of yourselves, people. [Science Daily]