May 27, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Alcohol and colds: does alcohol really help prevent getting sick and even cure

People sometimes drink alcohol to avoid catching a cold. It is believed to be useful for the prevention and even treatment of colds. Does this treatment carry risks?

BB.LV, based on the opinion of scientists, believesthat alcohol is an excellent antiseptic that allows you to clean surfaces from pathogenic microorganisms starting from a concentration of 15-20%. However, taking alcoholic beverages orally is a questionable measure for the prevention and treatment of colds. But it is better, of course, to rely on specific scientific research data.

Two major studies by scientists have shown that moderate alcohol consumption cannot cure a cold, but it can prevent it. The first study on this topic was conducted in 1993 by scientists from Carnegie Mellon University, which involved 391 people. The results found that resistance to colds increased with moderate—that’s the key word—alcohol consumption. True, this does not apply to smokers.

In 2002, scientists in Spain monitored 4,300 healthy adults, studying their habits and susceptibility to colds. A study published in The American Journal of Epidemiology found no association between the incidence of colds and consumption of beer, liquor, vitamin C or zinc.

The authors of this work associated drinking 8 to 14 glasses of wine per week, especially red, with a 60% reduction in the risk of developing colds. Scientists suspected that this had something to do with the antioxidant properties of wine. However, we should not forget that both studies are statistical and their results cannot reliably judge the presence of a cause-and-effect relationship.

A correlation between events does not mean that one follows from the other, because the incidence of colds is influenced not only by alcohol consumption, but also by many other factors. So experts recommend still being treated with proven methods, and not resorting to drinking alcohol.

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