The study found that when a person brings their blood alcohol content to the legal limit of .08 percent, that person’s pain threshold is elevated. The researchers concluded from their study that “alcohol is an effective analgesic (pain reliever) that delivers clinically-relevant reductions in ratings of pain intensity.”
The head of the study, Dr. Trevor Thompson, told The Sun that the pain relieving power of alcohol “is more powerful than paracetamol.” Paracetamol, or acetaminophen, is found in over the counter pain and fever reducers like Tylenol.
To get to this conclusion, Thompson and his team did a meta analysis of 18 studies on PubMed, PsycINFO, and Embase dating back to April 2016. Each study looked at the dosages of alcohol on pain response. In all, 404 people were involved in the studies, with 13 of the studies comparing pain thresholds of people who drank alcohol versus those who drank no alcohol.
Of course, no one is suggesting you go out and drink to the legal limit every day. But this isn’t the first time beer has been held up as having health benefits. There’s the Pennsylvania State University study that found beer consumption helps maintain good cholesterol, and the study from the National Osteoporosis Risk Assessment that found beer puts women at a lower risk for osteoporosis.
Yet the study focused on how alcohol in general can make you feel better, not just beer. We already know that wine is good for your brain, and that hot toddies cure the common cold. Time to add pain reliever to that list as well.
So the next time you feel a headache coming on, consider a pint or two. It’ll make you feel better.