The stronger the sake, the greater the risk! Alcohol reduces immunity

Alcohol reduces immunity and increases the risk of pneumonia. Research results have come out that are of great concern to people who love alcohol during the Wiscorona era. How does alcohol influence immunity? Also, how do you take it so that you do not increase the risk of corona infection? Kaori Haishi, a sake journalist, asked Ryo Abe, a specially appointed professor at Teikyo University who specializes in immunology.

I heard this conversation while I was on the TV.

"Drinking alcohol lowers your immunity."

"Yeah, so it's better not to drink in Corona."

I used to hear that "alcohol reduces immunity" from old days, but it seems that it is a topic because of the coronal era.

However, he doubted, "Is this true?" I'm sorry to say that I've been drinking so much every day, but I haven't had a cold in the last few years, and I haven't had any major illness or hospitalization even after I'm 50. Although it was not measured numerically, I think the immunity is high. For that reason, I didn't want to believe the theory that "alcohol lowers immunity".

However, last time, Dr. Hisashi Yoshimoto, an associate professor at the University of Tsukuba, told me that there is a study that the more drinkers drink, the higher the risk of developing pneumonia. ). There are reports that immunity declines as the amount of alcohol consumed increases, leading to pneumonia.

If this is true, how does alcohol reduce immunity? It is a little scary to continue drinking without knowing how it will affect immunity in the situation where infected people continue to appear every day. It must be made clear for the left parties nationwide.

Therefore, we interviewed Ryo Abe, a specially appointed professor at the Strategic Innovation Research Center of Teikyo University, who specializes in immunology.

"Three stages" of defense reaction by immunity

I often hear immunity, but what does it mean in the first place? Professor Abe, before getting into the main topics of drinking and immunity, please tell us what immunity is.

"Immune "disease" refers to disease. Immunity from epidemics, or immunity, is literally a defense system that protects the body from pathogens."

Thankfully, thanks to this immunity, we can prevent various pathogens, including the new coronavirus, from invading our body, and even if we allow it, we can get rid of it. .. And the defense reaction by immunity is said to have "three stages".

"Pathogens such as viruses are repelled in three stages. The first stage is called the "natural barrier," where skin and mucous membranes prevent the invasion of pathogens. In the second step of "natural immunity", phagocytic cells such as macrophages quickly eat the pathogen.If you still can not get rid of it, in the final third step "acquired immunity", make an appropriate attack for that pathogen. I will put it out"

Sweats and tears also help prevent the invasion of pathogens

The system that protects the body by immunity is composed of such a highly sophisticated mechanism. So where, among these three stages, does alcohol affect?

"Actually, alcohol has a direct effect on all three stages. Alcohol is a bad thing for human immunity."


"Let's look at each of the detailed mechanisms in turn. First, the "natural barrier" in the first stage is located in various parts of the body and is roughly classified into three. One is tears, sweat, saliva, It is a physical barrier such as urine, and although it is not visible, villi in the intestinal tract and cilia in the respiratory tract also push out pathogens that try to enter the body. It is because of the action of the cilia that I have a cold and I get phlegm."

There are three types of "natural barriers" that prevent pathogens from entering

When I hear this, all my sweat and tears become sweet. What other barriers are there?

"The second barrier is the chemical barrier. Enzymes and acidic substances contained in mucus such as gastric acid, fatty acids and lactic acids contained in sebum, and antimicrobial peptides present on the body's surface."

And the third is the "microbiology barrier". "This refers to the indigenous bacteria that are present on the skin and intestines. Some people wash their faces or take antibiotics if they have a cold and are a little sick. I think it's a waste.” I try not to wash my face much.”

It is good to have a cold and take the prescribed antibiotics, but I may have diarrhea. According to Mr. Abe, this phenomenon "thanks for the reduction of indigenous bacteria".

“The younger generation has a strong natural barrier, which makes them more resistant to pathogens. As you can see from the example of the new corona, the younger generation is less likely to get seriously infected. This is because the natural barrier works well. However, because of individual differences, I cannot say that I will never become seriously ill because I am young."

A natural barrier that is protected by sweat, gastric acid, and indigenous bacteria. What effect does alcohol have on these?

"Be careful with alcohol with a high alcohol content, such as vodka, where the throat has a sharp tinge. It can damage the mucous membranes of the throat. Will decline."

There are many left parties who are irritated by the sensation of whiskey and vodka. I didn't know that the dust was damaging the mucous membrane.