Many centennials attribute their longevity to a daily dram of whisky or a cocktail, and studies have shown that a little bit of booze can reduce inflammation. Now, science is saying that moderate alcohol consumption could actually help boost your immune system—just in time for flu season. It’s all thanks to a few tipsy monkeys.
Researchers from Oregon Health & Science University trained 12 rhesus macaques, who have immune systems similar to humans, to drink doses of four-percent ethanol alcohol. Then they vaccinated the monkeys against smallpox and separated them into two groups. Group one had access to the alcohol, group two was given sugar water and both groups were supplied with food and plain water. Researchers observed the monkeys for 14 months and realized their drinking habits were similar to our own. Some monkeys drank alcohol all day long and reached blood ethanol concentrations higher than 0.08, while others practiced moderation and clocked in between 0.02 and 0.04.