Coronavirus: Drinking alcohol could weaken your immune system

Coronavirus means everyone should be adhering to the advice from medical experts and practising social distancing, as advised by the UK Government. This is all well and good but what happens to those drinking alcohol during these troubling times? It’s well known that alcohol causes more harm to the body than good. Drinking too much also affects one’s mental health and with so much uncertainty in play, should we really be drinking?


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Experts warn that drinking alcohol weakens the immune system and this creates a greater risk during this unprecedented global pandemic.

Medical advice is to wash hands regularly, eat well, stay active and a new warning could be laying off the sauce.

Alcohol negatively affects the body in numerous ways and increases the risk of serious disease.

Dr Aragone Giuseppe has shed some light on alcohol and coronavirus.

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Dr Aragone said: “Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol could cause damage to immune cells in the lungs and upper respiratory system.

“Which in turn can increase the risk of developing diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumonia and respiratory distress syndrome, not to mention making you more susceptible to viruses.

“Alcohol can also affect the gut barrier allowing more bacteria to pass in the blood.

“This, in turn, causes a depletion of the three most important kinds of cells in your immune system: Macrophages, T and C cells.”


What are macrophages?

British Society of Immunology said: “Macrophages are specialised cells involved in the detection, phagocytosis and destruction of bacteria and other organisms.

“In addition, they can also present antigens to T cells and initiate inflammation by releasing molecules that activate other cells.

“Macrophages are also able to detect products of bacteria and other microorganisms using a system of recognition receptors such as Toll-like receptors and these receptors can bind specifically to different pathogen components.”


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Macrophages are the body’s first line of defence against disease.

They destroy anything that isn’t supposed to be there and make your body aware if pathogens are present.

“When these cells are suppressed, your immune system is less efficient at identifying and destroying pathogens.

“Alcohol addiction and regular heavy drinking is obviously really bad for your body in many ways but even occasional binge drinking sessions can temporarily knock out your immune system,” added Dr Aragone.

The Mayor of London has recently threatened to ban people from pubs, warning he will ‘infringe’ human rights if necessary.

Meanwhile, many revellers continue to flock pubs and clubs across the country as they ignore calls urging social distancing and reducing alcohol consumption to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

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