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A little alcohol boosts immune systems in monkeys: Study

Written by: Jonathan Sher, QMI Agency
Dec. 21, 2013

(FOTOLIA)


Give monkeys access to booze 22 hours a day for more than a year and they’ll act very much like the primates we see in the mirror: Many drink responsibly, but about a third became drunks.

But researchers in Oregon also found something else that might help humans - the immune system of moderate drinkers got a boost compared to monkeys who didn’t touch alcohol.

The research, published Dec. 17 in the journal Vaccine, may help scientists find new ways to improve the human body’s ability to respond to vaccines and infections.

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The scientists used 12 rhesus macaques, which are found in Asia and have an immune system similar to humans. They were put in a room with two taps, one dispensing ethanol with 4% alcohol, about as much as light beer, and one with sugar water.

 

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