Research has shown that alcohol intake is linked to Covid-related risk.
Chinese scientists have analyzed the link between various alcohol beverages and Covid risks. This has led to some surprising news for wine enthusiasts and disappointing news for beer drinkers.
Shenzhen Kangning Hospital was partnered with Southwest Hospital to review 473,957 people, with an average age of just 69, who were retrieved from UK Biobank, and included 16,559 Covid+ individuals. These subjects were divided by their alcohol status, which included former, current, and non-drinkers. They also had to be categorized by how often they consumed alcohol (every week less than three, twice a week or never).
Existing UK guidelines – less than 14 units a week, with a small glass of wine counting as 1.5 units and a pint of lower-strength beer as two units – was adopted by the scientists as a reference point.
The researchers concluded that “There are many ways to lower the chance of Covid-19 in red, white, and sparkling wine.”
Underlining that heavy drinking is not healthy with any category of alcoholic beverage, the scientists specified that “Red wine consumption should not exceed or be doubled above guidelines,” “low-frequency of consumption of fortified wine (1–2 glasses/week) within guidelines,” and “High consumption of champagne and white wine above guidelines” all play a protective role against Covid-19.
“Covid-19 related mortality did not correlate with alcohol drinking habits, frequency, amounts, or subtypes.” the report, published in Frontiers in Nutrition, also concludes.
Interestingly, whereas the protective effect of red wine against Covid-19 was significant regardless of the frequency of alcohol intake, possibly due to the highest concentrations of phenolic compounds in this beverage, “It only had a protective effect if subjects consumed alcohol twice or more than the guidelines..”
However, the team’s report brings some bad news for lovers of beer, cider and spirits.
“Even though the amount and frequency of alcohol consumed did not affect the Covid-19 risk of drinking beer or cider, it increased the Covid-19 exposure.” the report said.
Therefore, the researchers claim, “Public health guidance should emphasize reducing the chance of Covid-19 through healthy lifestyles and preferred policies for consumers of beer, cider, spirits..”
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