Not drinking will make you sick.


The heavy drinkers showed greatly diminished vaccine responses compared with the control group of monkeys who drank the sugar water. But the more surprising finding: the moderate-drinking monkeys displayed enhanced responses to the vaccine compared to the control group. Moderate drinking bolstered their bodies' immune systems.

"It seems that some of the benefits that we know of from moderate drinking might be related in some way to our immune system being boosted by that alcohol consumption," said Kathy Grant, Ph.D., senior author on the paper, a professor of behavioral neuroscience at OHSU and a senior scientist at the ONPRC.

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14 Responses:

  1. Quick! Vitamin A to the rescue!

  2. Tom Lord says:

    Almost certainly this is because the moderate drinking monkeys crawl the city more often, looking for fun and adventure. Sort of like letting a toddler play in the dirt this is a good way to challenge and strengthen the immune system: get out there on the crowded dance floor with the other sweaty monkeys and so forth.

    The control group could see no point in going out if they couldn't ever drink and always had to be the designated driver. After a while they suspected the other monkeys weren't really their friends but were just using them for the rides. I mean, if everyone took turns it would be OK but those guys are really taking advantage of this stupid "scientific study" for which we monkeys, they'll remind you, aren't even getting paid. ("Yeah, but free booze," says their friend in the moderate group. Jerk.)

    The heavy drinking monkeys mostly stayed home and played video games, perpetually planning to get their shit together, put on clean underwear, and maybe go out "tomorrow". Alas, whenever "tomorrow" would arrive it would be a really shitty day when their roommate harshed out on them about the rent and anyway fuck that guy because what are they supposed to do? The bodega on the corner's got Olde English 40s and there's still one of those shitty frozen burritos they can replace before their roommate notices and there's porn on the net so....

  3. Mole says:

    I will be immortal!

  4. Erbo says:

    So, get sick by not drinking, or get sick by drinking. Again, not much of a choice...

  5. nooj says:

    That may lead to a pharmaceutical alternative that could provide the same benefits as moderate alcohol consumption.

    Those bastards are trying to steal our livelihood!

  6. Pavel Lishin says:

    > To conduct the study, the researchers trained a group of 12 rhesus macaques to consume alcohol

    I can't not imagine this: To conduct the study, the researchers trained a group of 12 rhesus macaques to consume alcohol

  7. nooj says:

    This is actually a fascinating paper. One of the reasons I have a tiny bit of skepticism about alcohol findings† is that we can't ethically dictate alcohol consumption in humans‡. ("You guys drink nothing; you guys drink 1-2/day; you drink 3-4/day; you drink 4-8.") So every study is subject to recall bias, observer bias, and the usual underreporting of alcohol intake.

    But in this study, those biases are not present!

    †I do believe a small, daily intake of alcohol is beneficial. Alcohol has too many positive effects to be discounted: disinfection, reduction of social inhibitions, ease of manufacture, etc.

    ‡It's unethical to dictate or imply a behavior generally viewed as harmful. It's ethical to study cessation of harmful behavior. For instance, divide a group of smokers in two randomly and say "Group A, do whatever you want; Group B, quit smoking." Usually, this is followed up by "Group A, at the end of the study, we will offer all of you Group B's access to free smoking cessation tools."

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