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A 34-year-old member asked:

How does alcohol affect my immune system?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Marcus Degraw
Pediatrics 23 years experience
Big time: Excessive alcohol intake can harm the body's immune system in two ways. First, it causes nutritional deficiency, decreasing intake of immune- boosting nutrients. Also, alcohol, consumed in excess can reduce the ability of white cells to kill germs. High doses of alcohol suppress the ability of the white blood cells to multiply, and decreases the function of killer type white blood cells.
Dr. Alan Wartenberg
A Verified Doctoranswered
Addiction Medicine 50 years experience
Many ways: Alcohol slows down the white blood cells that fight infection, catch and actually eat and kill various germs, and also decreases the production of antibodies and other important humors (cytokines etc.) produced by other kinds of white cells. They make individuals more prone to various infections, especially respiratory, because of smoking and sedating people so they aspirate, and w. Unusual germs.

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Last updated Dec 31, 2012

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