Effects of alcohol on the immune system
In recent months, alcohol consumption has exploded, in times where it is more important than ever to have an immune system working optimally. But many people do not know the effects that alcohol can have on the immune system and on health in general, so today we want to give you information about it.
Alcohol can damage our organs, weaken the body's defenses against infection, and prevent damaged tissue from being repaired, but how?
Let's start with your intake. When we drink, alcohol passes through the gastrointestinal tract, affecting its structure and integrity and thus altering the microbiota, important for the maturation and functioning of our immune system. Here it begins to damage cells and neutrophils, causing the gastrointestinal tract to facilitate the exit of microbes into the circulation. This is important because it can affect the intestinal system, increase inflammation in the body (which can lead to many diseases), increase the risk of infections and various diseases such as cancers and damage organs such as the liver, lungs, heart, pancreas., etc.
In the lungs, it will not only damage immune cells, but also small hairs that can kill pathogens when they try to access the respiratory system. This makes us more prone to respiratory diseases and increases the risk of lung diseases and others such as tuberculosis, respiratory syncytial virus and acute respiratory distress syndrome.
And not only does it affect specific parts of our body, but when we drink, our body focuses on metabolizing it and makes it its priority, since it does not have a way to store it as with the rest of the macronutrients (carbohydrates, lipids and proteins.). By this, it affects the metabolism of all other nutrients. This can affect the body in general, but it is especially harmful to our liver, as it has to work extra hard to eliminate alcohol.
Our heart is no exception, and it will be affected equally, becoming weaker and presenting arrhythmias (irregular pulse patterns). In addition, it increases the risk of high blood pressure.
It has also been observed that chronic consumption of it is not necessary to cause these effects, but that even high intakes of it for a day (for example, on a night where you go out for drinks) already affect the immune system and recovery from physical trauma.
Finally, its consumption will affect our sleep, which can increase the risk of inflammation, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, increased cortisol, weight gain and can affect the regulation of blood sugar.
So while drinking alcohol can be fun from time to time, drinking alcohol is something that shouldn't be taken lightly, and it obviously has many more cons than pros. Consider it and have fun responsibly.
Ries, J. (2020, Abril 22). How alcohol can affect your immune system. Healthline. Retrieved march12, 2021, from https://www.healthline.com/health-news/can-alcohol-hurt-your-immune-system-during-covid-19-outbreak
Sarkar, D., Jung, K., & Wang, J. (2015). Alcohol and the immune system. Alcohol research: current reviews, 37(2), 153-155. NCBI. PMC4590612
What is Epigenetics and what is it for?
What is behind this modern study?
Vitamins for Immune System strengthening
Keep yourself healthy with the help of these vitamins!
Athletics & Epigenetics
Are athletes born with their talent?