A new research study finds that alcohol damages more than the liver. Alcohol use can weaken the immune system and slow the body’s ability to heal. Drinking can also impair bone formation, increase the risk of transmission of the HIV virus and slow the recovery from trauma, bleeding and surgery.
A meeting of The Alcohol and Immunology Research Interest Group at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago discussed the hope that the research could lead to therapies which would boost the immune system. It is hoped, as well, that the research would discover ways to minimize the effects of alcohol use.
“Of course, the best way to prevent the damaging effects of alcohol is to not drink in the first place,” said Elizabeth J. Kovacs, PhD., director of Loyola University’s Alcohol Research Program. “But it is very difficult to get people to do this.”