Thursday, December 20, 2007

Have some wine, keep colds at bay

The New York Times has a small story today: "The Claim: A Little Alcohol Can Help You Beat a Cold." Now, before you go out and just have any old drink, it is not as easy as it sounds. Here's the deal:

  • "Nonetheless, two large studies have found that although moderate drinking will not cure colds, it can help keep them at bay. One, by researchers at Carnegie Mellon in 1993, looked at 391 adults and found that resistance to colds increased with moderate drinking, except in smokers."
  • "The study [this is a second study], in The American Journal of Epidemiology, found no relationship between the incidence of colds and consumption of beer, spirits, Vitamin C or zinc. But drinking 8 to 14 glasses of wine per week, particularly red wine, was linked to as much as a 60 percent reduction in the risk of developing a cold. The scientists suspected this had something to do with the antioxidant properties of wine."
In other words, the alcohol will not cure it, but if you drink a little wine in moderation, it may help keep that cold away. So, cheers friends. What I did find interesting is that the Vitamin C may have no relationship given that is a common piece of lore: stock up on Vitamin C.

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