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Researchers have been testing the effect of alcohol on the immune system and have determined that drinking may actually inhibit functioning. Impaired immune function could make an individual more susceptible to infection or injury, even after one evening of drinking alcohol.
In order to facilitate the study, researchers asked healthy young adults to consume enough shots of vodka to simulate a night of binge drinking. These individuals were then tested for immune response both immediately after drinking, and after some time had elapsed. The results showed that after 20 minutes, the immune system became more active releasing white blood cells to help defend and protect the body. However, researchers found that at the two and five hour marks after drinking, the immune response was significantly depressed.
The study indicates that just one occurrence of binge drinking can result in decreased immune function and leaves individuals at risk of infection and injury. Of course, the best method of alleviating risk is to avoid episodes of binge drinking. If, however, one is so compelled, supplements that help provide immune support may aid in protection from impaired functioning.