– Alcohol does not just damage the liver

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Alcohol does not just damage the liver – it also weakens the immune system, leads to slower healing, impairs bone formation and increases the risk of HIV transmission, US researchers have said.

Around 50 staff members of Chicago’s Loyola University are currently conducting research on alcohol.

They have also found that alcohol consumption hinders recovery from burns, trauma, bleeding and surgery.

The researchers are hoping that their findings could lead to therapies to boost the immune system or otherwise minimise the effects of alcohol.

“Of course, the best way to prevent the damaging effects of alcohol is to not drink in the first place. But it is very difficult to get people to do this,” pointed out Dr Elizabeth Kovacs of Loyola’s Alcohol Research Programme.

Details of these findings were released at a meeting of the US Alcohol and Immunology Research Interest Group.


Source:, 12/11/10
Journalist: Deborah Condon