According to different studies, quarantine has greatly increased alcohol sales.
Although we have always believed that a little glass can even be beneficial for your health, the reality is that most Americans are drinking way more than that.
There is no doubt that a little alcohol can even be good for you. However, if you are exceeding more than 2 drinks per day, you are setting your health at risk.
Studies have shown that alcohol consumption can affect your immune system, and during a pandemic, it is crucial to keep it strong.
Here’s what you should know, plus tips to support and strengthen your immunity.
How Alcohol Affects Your Body
When you exceed the limit of 2 drinks per day, alcohol can compromise your health in the following ways:
Depletes Vitamins and Nutrients: Alcohol use inhibits the absorption of nutrients. Not only is alcohol devoid of proteins, minerals, and vitamins, it inhibits the absorption and usage of vital nutrients such as thiamin (vitamin B1), vitamin B12, folic acid, and zinc.
Worsens Sleep: Alcohol disrupts sleep and the quality of sleep is diminished. Additionally, alcohol is a diuretic, which increases your need to go to the bathroom and causes you to wake up earlier in the morning.
Increases Inflammation: Inflammation is probably the worst and greatest effect on your body. When your body feels threatened, it produces inflammation, which is a mechanism of protection. If you drink too often, your body is constantly “protecting itself” eventually causing damage to your tissues in the form of chronic inflammation.
Gut Damage: Alcohol washes out your microbiome “good bacteria” and causes an overgrowth of bad ones. This causes your gut to be inflamed and increases your chances to develop leaky gut. Therefore, with the reduction of good bacteria, your gut becomes compromised, and your immune system becomes vulnerable.
Alcohol and Immune System
With the increased inflammation that alcohol creates, your body is constantly in “defense mode”, representing a distraction for your immune system that is under constant alert.
Additionally, alcohol affects your lung’s cilia. Cilia are tiny hair-like projections that protect the airways by sweeping away mucus and dust particles and keeping the lungs clear. With the reduction of it, you automatically become more susceptible to catch pneumonia and viruses.
How Can I Boost My Immune System?
The first step is obviously to reduce your alcohol intake. Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Surgeon General agree that during the COVID-19 pandemic, they’re taking a conservative stance, recommending the optimal amount of alcohol to drink to be zero.
However, since we know that suppressing it can be hard, we highly encourage you to (at least) stay under the minimum requirement and reduce your intake to 2 drinks per day.
Moreover, we recommend you to take the following tips to enhance your defenses:
- Eat a diet rich in nutrient-dense vegetables
- Get plenty of quality sleep
- Manage your stress (meditation is a great tool to stay at peace)
- Take vitamin C supplements to boost your defenses.
- Try Stem Cell Therapy: Stem Cell Therapy is the answer when it comes to supporting your mechanisms of defenses. Even in cases of the compromised immune system and pulmonary disease, such COPD, patients can recover up to 15% of their lung function and in many severe cases, they can breathe without an oxygen tank again. Additionally, up to 85% of our patients report an improvement in their life quality, which includes being healthier, stronger, more energized, and overall happier.
Has the pandemic affected your alcohol consumption? What is your favorite way to support your immune system? Share it with us in the comments below!
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