One health expert is calling for a travel ban — on vacations without alcohol.
Richard Conroy, a food scientist and founder of SickHoliday.com, says that alcohol can help prevent stomach bugs like E. Coli, listeria, and salmonella. All the different types of alcohol you’re probably consuming anyway “have been found to be great at pathogen prevention,” Conroy told the British tabloid The Sun.
Here’s how he claims this works: Concentrations of alcohol sitting in your stomach kills bacteria, while acid secretions the morning after has the same effect. Red wine in particular is helpful, Conroy says, thanks to anti-microbial properties and antioxidants. He shouldn’t have to tell you that twice. There are plenty of studies that back up the idea that red wine is good for your health.
Conroy’s advice is anything but unbiased. His website is a resource to make monetary claims against travel agencies if you get sick on a vacation they set up. And while alcohol does kill germs, overdoing it on the consumption front can also weaken your immune system for up to 24 hours (not to mention the hangover). Still, if you were looking for an excuse to linger over one last drink at the bar the next time you’re on vacation, you can always refer back to Conroy. No matter where your travels take you, don’t forget to consume your beverages — I mean, stomach medicine — responsibly.