Sadly, drinking alcohol is rarely associated with health benefits. One study, however, found that consuming red wine could provide certain protections against COVID-19.
The study, published on the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, examined data from the British database UK Biobank. The research showed that people who consumed five or more glasses of red wine per week were 17% less likely to become infected with COVID-19. Researchers theorize that this is due to the drink’s polyphenol content.
While red wine provided the most benefits out of all the drinks that were surveyed, alcoholic drinks like white wine and champagne also provided protection against the virus, with people who consumed it as their beverage of choice being 8% less likely to develop COVID-19.
This is as far as good news gets. People who consumed beers and cider showed the opposite effect than those who consumed wine and champagne: these imbibers were 28% more likely to get infected by COVID-19.
Red wine has long been associated with benefits like lowering bad cholesterol, promoting heart health, and being rich in antioxidants. Up to one drink a day is considered drinking in moderation, and is something that could boost people’s systems and be a part of an enjoyable daily routine.
Despite wine and champagne’s protective qualities, these drinks are still not enough to protect you fully from COVID-19, especially if you’re consuming too many of them. At the end of the day, alcohol is alcohol, and large amounts of it could depress your immune system and result in a variety of illnesses and conditions that can be harmful in the long run.
In order to stay safe, experts recommend staying up to date with your vaccines and keeping an eye on the COVID-19 transmission rates in your area, which should inform you on what’s safe and what isn’t safe to do.