Taking too long? Close loading screen.
Connect with us

Tech

Does drinking alcohol increase your risk for COVID-19? Two doctors explain – CNET

Published

on

gettyimages-1193256860
Health experts warn that drinking alcohol may put you more at risk for COVID-19.
Krisanapong Detraphiphat/Getty Images

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

Not to be a buzzkill, but if you’re drinking a lot these days, listen up. Alcohol, especially frequent and excessive drinking, can present some serious risks to your health, especially when it comes to COVID-19, your immune system and overall risk for developing serious complications from the virus.

While summer is usually a season of beach vacations, pool parties and rooftop hangs, this summer is not normal, to say the least. With COVID-19 numbers continuing to climb across the country, now is not the time to let your guard down when it comes to your health and immune system.

While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the occasional drink, if you are doing more than that, health authorities like the WHO are warning people (PDF) about the potential risks drinking alcohol can have on your health, especially when it comes to the coronavirus.

To gain clarity around exactly how alcohol can harm your immune system, how much it takes to have the effect, and what it has to do with COVID-19, I tapped two medical experts: Dr. Edo Paz, medical director at K Health; and Dr. Tom Moorcroft, founder of Origins of Health.

Alcohol weakens the immune system

Although there are no specific studies on how alcohol can impact your chances for COVID-19 specifically, there is plenty of research about alcohol’s effect on your immune system, which is key to keeping you healthy and protecting you from illness. “We do know that alcohol can impact multiple organ systems in the body, including the immune system,” Paz says. “A weakened immune system can make you more susceptible to contracting any contagious illness, including COVID-19.”

According to the WHO, alcohol consumption weakens your immune system defenses in any amount, but that’s especially true if you are a heavy drinker. According to Moorcroft, this happens in a few key ways.

First, if you have alcohol in your system at the time you come into contact with a virus, he says your body’s chances of fighting that off are much lower. “Alcohol in the body at the time of exposure to a pathogen, such as SARS-CoV-2, can impair the body’s immediate immune response, making it easier for the pathogen to take hold and lead to an infection,” Moorcroft explains.

Alcohol can also alter your gut bacteria or your gut microbiome, which affects your immune system. “Short and long term use of alcohol can impair immune function because it leads to changes in the microbiome — the microorganisms in the intestines that aid in normal gut function,” Moorcroft says. “Changes in the microbiome as a result of alcohol use can also lead to damage of cells of the gut wall that can lead to leakage of microbes in the bloodstream, triggering inflammation.”

Drinking alcohol increases your risk for acute respiratory distress syndrome

Acute respiratory distress syndrome is one of the potentially severe complications that can occur with COVID-19. ARDS is a condition where fluid fills the lungs and prevents the body from obtaining enough oxygen. ARDS can result in death, and those that do survive it can end up with severe damage to the lungs. The WHO warns (PDF) that heavy drinking and alcohol use can increase your risk for this on its own, and Moorcroft agrees.

“Long-term use of alcohol has been associated with increased risk for severe liver disease and certain cancers as well as increased risk of developing ARDS — which is a potential concern in COVID-19. This may be because long-term, excessive alcohol impairs proper function of immune cells in the lungs and can directly damage the cells that line the lung surface, making them less able to ward off infections,” Moorcroft says.

gettyimages-93911255
Drinking alcohol can mess with your sleep, which is important for a healthy immune system.
Getty Images

Alcohol can interfere with sleep

Sleep is crucial for your overall health, and it’s especially important for your immune system. You should aim for at least seven to eight hours of quality sleep to keep your immune system in fighting shape. According to the National Sleep Foundation, skimping on sleep can lower the proteins in your body that fight inflammation and infection, making you more susceptible to illness.

When it comes to alcohol and sleep, alcohol can affect two important things you need for quality rest: melatonin and gamma aminobutyric acid, or GABA.

“Alcohol artificially increases GABA levels, a neurotransmitter that slowly rises throughout the day and is at its peak when it’s time to sleep,” Moorcroft says. “This is why many people get sleepy after a few drinks, then head to bed, only to find they struggle to get a good night’s sleep. As the alcohol wears off, the artificial bump in GABA goes away. The problem is, it prevented your natural levels from reaching appropriate levels to help provide you with a restful night of sleep.”

Melatonin is known as the “sleep hormone,” which is why some people turn to melatonin supplements when they’re having trouble getting enough sleep. According to Moorcraft, alcohol can also reduce the amount of melatonin your body produces, making it harder to fall asleep and thus reducing how many hours of sleep you get.

Melatonin may have benefits beyond sleep, since it’s currently being evaluated for treating COVID-19 patients. Research published in Life Sciences says melatonin treatments have shown to help some critical care COVID-19 patients. “Melatonin not only helps us sleep properly, it also helps block an inflammatory pathway triggered by SARS-CoV-2,” Moorcroft explains. “Melatonin functions as an anti-inflammatory and alcohol can interfere with normal melatonin production, leading to inflammation.”

gettyimages-1144738161
It’s best to limit drinks to one to two per day to help keep your immune system strong.
Getty Images

How much alcohol is OK?

The bottom line is that drinking any amount of alcohol affects your body. And the more you drink, the more you can weaken your immune system.

“Consuming more than one to two drinks per day can increase your risks of multiple medical problems, including cardiac diseases, cancers, impaired immune functioning and mental health problems,” Paz says. “To keep your immune system functioning at its best, you should avoid any alcohol. If you do drink, consuming less alcohol is better.”

This advice does not apply to anyone that suffers from immunosuppression or is considered immunocompromised. These people, as well as those that have any preexisting medical conditions, should avoid alcohol completely, according to Paz.

Now playing:
Watch this:

New COVID-19 test you take at home

12:24

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

Source : CNET Read More

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tech

Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

Published

on

Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

Advertisement

Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

Advertisement


Source

Continue Reading

Tech

Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

Published

on

Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

Advertisement

That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

Advertisement

Grab this offer while it’s still around!


Source

Continue Reading

Tech

Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

Published

on

Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

Advertisement

You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

Advertisement


Source

Continue Reading

Trending