Can alcohol prevent Covid? Drinking red wine could reduce your risk of catching Covid, new research has found. Here’s what you need to know about the new claims
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Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, several ‘tips and tricks’ that have been labelled as cures to the virus have been brought up from time to time.
The research, which was published in Frontiers In Nutrition, comes from the British database UK Biobank, which were analysed at Shenzhen Kangning Hospital in China.
Here’s what you need to know about the research and what types of alcohol – if any – can actually protect you from catching Covid.
Can red wine protect you from Covid?
According to the report, which studied drinking habits and Covid history during the pandemic, drinking red wine could reduce the risk of Covid infection.
The study discovered that those who consume five or more glasses of red wine a week had a 17% lesser risk of catching the virus.
Scientists believe that this reduced risk might be because of the drink’s high content of polyphenol, which is known to help with the flu and other respiratory conditions.
Two other alcoholic drinks that were found to decrease Covid risk were white wine and champagne, with the study finding those who drank one to four glasses of either drink in a week had an eight percent lower risk of being infected with Covid.
However, the report had some bad news of pint lovers. It revealed that those who drank any amount of beer and cider were at a 28% higher risk of getting Covid, with anyone drinking five or more glasses of spirits each week also facing increased risk of infection.
While some alcoholic beverages reduced Covid risk, the report warned against heavy drinking of any alcohol during the pandemic, as those who consume alcohol double above the guidelines have a higher risk from the virus overall.
How can we prevent ourselves from catching Covid?
The best protection against the virus is getting vaccinated and boosted. Evidence from Public Health England estimates that the vaccine rollout has prevented around 230,800 hospitalisations as of September 2021.
He told the BBC ’s Sunday Morning programme: “I do think that we continue to call for those (who are unvaccinated) to come forward to be boosted or vaccinated before the deadline but I think ultimately we have to make sure that we don’t have people putting patients at risk if they are not vaccinated.”