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Wine drinking associated with lower COVID risk, but not beer, cider and spirits – UK Biobank analysis

Consumption of red wine, white wine and champagne above the guidelines protected against COVID-19, while consumption of beer, cider and spirits increased the risk, found an analysis of UK Biobank data in Frontiers in Nutrition.

This is according to research from China’s Shenzen Kangning Hospital, in collaboration with Shenzhen Mental Health Centre, China Southwest Hospital and the Third Military Medical University of Chongqing.

For their study, which was published in Frontiers in Nutrition, the researchers analysed figures from British database UK Biobank.

They believe the reduction in risk for wine drinkers is due to the polyphenol content, which can inhibit the effect of viruses like flu and respiratory tract-related infections.

White wine drinkers who consume between one and four glasses a week had an 8% lower risk of catching the virus, compared with non-drinkers, and regardless of how much they consumed, beer and cider drinkers had a nearly 28% higher chance of getting COVID.

Study details

COVID-19 risk appears to vary across different alcoholic beverages

Xi-jian Dai1, Liang Tan2, Lina Ren1, Yuan Shao1, Weiqun Tao1 and Yongjun Wang.

Objectives
To evaluate the associations of status, amount, and frequency of alcohol consumption across different alcoholic beverages with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) risk and associated mortality.

Methods
This study included 473,957 subjects, 16,559 of whom tested positive for COVID-19. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to evaluate the associations of alcohol consumption with COVID-19 risk and associated mortality. The non-linearity association between the amount of alcohol consumption and COVID-19 risk was evaluated by a generalised additive model.

Results
Subjects who consumed alcohol double above the guidelines had a higher risk of COVID-19 (1.12 [1.00, 1.25]). Consumption of red wine above or double above the guidelines played protective effects against the COVID-19. Consumption of beer and cider increased the COVID-19 risk, regardless of the frequency and amount of alcohol intake. Low-frequency of consumption of fortified wine (1–2 glasses/week) within guidelines had a protective effect against the COVID-19. High frequency of consumption of spirits (≥5 glasses/week) within guidelines increased the COVID-19 risk, whereas the high frequency of consumption of white wine and champagne above the guidelines decreased the COVID-19 risk. The generalised additive model showed an increased risk of COVID-19 with a greater number of alcohol consumption. Alcohol drinker status, frequency, amount, and subtypes of alcoholic beverages were not associated with COVID-19 associated mortality.

Conclusions
The COVID-19 risk appears to vary across different alcoholic beverage subtypes, frequency, and amount. Red wine, white wine, and sparkling wine have chances to reduce the risk of COVID-19. Consumption of beer and cider and spirits and heavy drinking are not recommended during the epidemics. Public health guidance should focus on reducing the risk of COVID-19 by advocating healthy lifestyle habits and preferential policies among consumers of beer and cider and spirits.

 

Frontiers in Nutrition article – COVID-19 Risk Appears to Vary Across Different Alcoholic Beverages (Open access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

Ok, I'll have just a quick glass of red, if you insist…

 

Moderate drinking not associated with increased heart or death risk — Large UK analysis

 

Large 10-year genetic study finds no protective benefits to light drinking

 

Harmful use of alcohol kills millions annually – WHO global report

 

 

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