Jan 23: A team of Chinese scientists who have analysed the database from the UK Biobank regarding the consumption of various alcoholic drinks and Covid-related risks, claims that drinking over 5 glasses of wine brings down the chance of getting Covid by 17% whereas beer and Ciders in any amount will increase the chance by 28 %, writes Subhash Arora who cautions against such reports without their provenance and source of funding
Researchers, from Shenzhen Kangning Hospital and Southwest Hospital, reviewed 474,000 subjects with an average age of 69 years, including 16,600 Covid-positive individuals. They divided them into groups by drinking status (non-drinker, former drinker, and current drinker) and by frequency of alcohol consumption (less than three times a week, more than three times a week, and never), according to IANS as reported by RT.
The researchers concluded that “red wine, white wine, and champagne have chances to reduce the risk of Covid-19.” Stressing that heavy drinking is not healthy with any category of alcoholic beverage, the scientists specified that “consumption of red wine above or double above the guidelines,” “low-frequency of consumption of fortified wine (1–2 glasses/week) within guidelines,” and “high frequency of consumption of white wine and champagne above the guidelines” play a protective role against Covid-19.
Experts believe this phenomenon is due to the polyphenol content, which may inhibit the effect of viruses such as flu and respiratory tract-related infections. White wine drinkers who consume between one to four glasses a week had an eight per cent lower risk of catching the virus compared with non-drinkers.
The report, published in Frontiers in Nutrition, also concludes, “Alcohol drinker status, frequency, amount, and subtypes of alcoholic beverages were not associated with Covid-19 associated mortality,”
Interestingly, whereas the protective effect of red wine against Covid-19 was significant regardless of the frequency of alcohol intake, possibly due to the highest concentrations of phenolic compounds in this beverage, “it only played the protective effect when subjects consumed alcohol above or double above the guidelines.”
Researchers also claim that beer, cider and spirits increased the Covid-19 risk, regardless of the frequency and amount of alcohol intake.
We advise you to take the Study with a Pinch of Salt. As has become a common practice, the Studies do not clarify the Source of financial grants. Thus, many times, they may be obliged to find the desired ‘findings’. However, without casting any aspersions, we would wait for the comments from the Peer groups – editor
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