If this holiday season couldn’t get any better, today we were rewarded with the news that booze actually helps boost your immune system. It seems it all depends on how much you drink…

As most of us know, drinking a ton is never good for your health, but according to recent research, drinking moderately actually helps us stay healthy – now you have an even better excuse for that evening cocktail besides simply taking the edge off from that terrible day you had!

But if you still are dubious to these claims, let’s head to the study and see what the researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have to say:

Researchers trained 12 rhesus macaques (those are monkeys) — chosen for the similarity between their immune system and ours — to drink a 4 percent ethanol cocktail. They vaccinated the monkeys against small pox and divided them into two groups: one that had access to the cocktails and one to sugar water. (Both groups were also given food and regular water.)

Over the course of the 14-month study, the researchers found that the monkeys in the booze cage drank varying amounts—some got stewed all day, clocking blood ethanol concentrations higher than 0.08, while others kept their intake moderate, between 0.02 and 0.04. “Like humans,” lead author Ilhem Messaoudi said, “rhesus macaques showed highly variable drinking behavior.”

After drinking for seven months, the macaques received another booster shot, and their reactions were remarkably different. The immune systems of the bad monkeys that drank too much failed to produce the antibodies the body usually makes in response to a vaccine. The moderate drinkers, on the other hand, demonstrated an enhanced immune response—better even than the teetotaling control group.

So there you have it, a bit more scientific proof that a little alcohol is actually good for us. Now if you don’t mind, we’re going to cancel that appointment we had for our yearly flu shot and open a bottle of wine…

Read More At Mother Jones.

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