Here is finally some COVID-19 news that can cause you to say, “I’ll drink to that.” A new study suggests that drinking red wine could lower your risk of catching the COVID virus.
The study of more than 500,000 men and women in the U.K. found that those who drank one to two glasses of red wine had an impressive 10 to 17% lower chance of getting COVID-19 than nondrinkers.
According to Wine Spectator, people who sipped white wine had a 7 to 8% reduced risk of infection if they drank five glasses or less each week. On the other hand, those who drank beer or cider had a 28% higher risk of contracting the virus than nondrinkers.
The study was conducted by a team of researchers at Shenzhen Kangning Hospital in China using data from the U.K. Biobank study, a research project that gathers health and lifestyle information from approximately 500,000 participants in the U.K. since 2006.
The findings, published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, indicate that low- to- moderate alcohol consumption is protective while heavy alcohol abuse is harmful.
“Several cohort studies have pointed out that people who have light-to-moderate alcohol consumption survive longer than abstainers,” said lead authors Xi-jian Dai and Yongjun Wang.
The data also revealed that there was no significant difference in mortality rates from COVID-19 between drinkers and teetotalers. Besides determining that wine drinkers had lower rates of infection and beer drinkers had higher rates, the researchers found that people who drank five or more hard alcohol beverages each week had a higher risk of infection. In fact, heavy drinking of any alcohol raised that risk.
Red wine drinkers may be less likely to contract COVID-19 due to the polyphenols, beneficial plant compounds found in grapes used to make red wine.
“Red wine provides additional benefits to other alcoholic beverages probably due to its higher polyphenolic content, by decreasing blood pressure, inhibiting the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein particles and other favorable effects on the cellular redox state, improving endothelial function, inhibiting platelet aggregation, and activating proteins that prevent cell death,” wrote the authors.
In summary, according to the researchers, the COVID-19 risk appears to vary across different alcoholic subtypes, frequency, and amount. Red wine, white wine, and champagne may reduce the risk of infection while drinking beer, cider, spirits, and heavy drinking are associated with an increased risk of infection.