Perhaps the most dangerous effect is that alcohol use may affect the white blood cells in the body, which are responsible for getting rid of killer white blood cells. Without this defense system, a person is at heightened risk of developing more life-threatening diseases, such as cancer. Additionally, disregarding does alcohol weaken your immune system the specificity of the innate immunity, the influence of alcohol-induced oxidative stress on cardiovascular system has to be considered as well. Rats subjected to chronic alcohol consumption (4 g/kg/day for 12 weeks) exhibit a significant increase in blood pressure compared with controls .
The mentioned data in this review was collected via a systematic literature search conducted using PubMed and Google Scholar. The latter was used to identify any publication not indexed in MEDLINE and covered around 80%–90% of English scientific articles available online . Keywords used were “inflammation”, “innate immunity”, “immune cells”, “cytokine”, “neutrophil”, “sepsis”, “systemic inflammatory response syndrome(SIRS)”, “toll-like receptor (TLR)”, “acute alcohol”, “acute ethanol”, “chronic alcohol”, “chronic ethanol”, and “infection”.
A glass of wine with dinner ‘could improve health’
As reviewed by Szabo and Saha, alcohol’s combined effects on both innate and adaptive immunity significantly weaken host defenses, predisposing chronic drinkers to a wide range of health problems, including infections and systemic inflammation. Alcohol’s widespread effects on immune function also are underscored in the article by Gauthier, which examines how in utero alcohol exposure interferes with the developing immune system in the fetus. This exposure increases a newborn’s risk of infection and disease; additional evidence suggests that alcohol’s deleterious effects on immune development last into adulthood. It is also critical to take into consideration that the effects of ethanol on immune function in vivo could involve the actions of its primary metabolite, acetaldehyde. Therefore, more studies looking at the effects of ethanol metabolites in vivo are needed.
- To this end, heavy drinkers have been shown to exhibit an increase in both IgA and IgM levels when compared to both moderate and light male drinkers.
- Finally, primary alveolar macrophages isolated from female mice cultured in 25–100mM ethanol for 24 hours prior to addition of apoptotic cells showed a dose-dependent decrease in efferocytosis, the process of clearing dying cells that is critical to resolution of the inflammatory process after infection.
- In addition, production of IL-10 in response to TLR2/6 stimulation was increased (Pruett, Zheng et al. 2004).
- As we said before, your immune system protects your body from unwelcome invaders and certain types of cancers.
Soon after, the World Health Organization (WHO) also suggested that people cut back on drinking, since alcohol can increase the risk of experiencing complications from COVID-19. Research has shown that when alcohol is removed from the body, it activates brain and nerve cells, resulting in excessive excitability (hyperexcitability). Drinking large amounts of alcohol for many years will take its toll on many of the body’s organs and may cause organ damage.
1. Pattern Recognition and Downstream Signaling
Dendritic cells, either classical dendritic cells or plasmacytoid dendritic cells, ingest pathogens mainly to produce antigens and present them to effector cells such as lymphocytes . Potential intracellular target points for (i) acute alcohol and (ii) chronic alcohol in a stylized cell. The induction of canonical NF-κB with p50–p65 translocation to nucleus via pattern recognition receptors (PRR) is outlined by, for example, TLR4 and MyD88 activation.