Immune System & Inflammatory Conditions

Some researchers have reported that excessive alcohol consumption may weaken your immune system. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) state that:

Drinking too much can weaken your immune system, making your body a much easier target for disease. Chronic drinkers are more liable to contract diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis than people who do not drink too much. Drinking a lot on a single occasion slows your body’s ability to ward off infections – even up to 24 hours after getting drunk.1

While there have been some studies reporting that very moderate consumption may reduce the risk of developing autoimmune conditions, like arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation cautions that alcohol consumption could “do more harm than good” for those who already have the disease. According to The Arthritis Foundation:

While moderate drinking may reduce some risks of developing arthritis, if you already suffer from arthritis or a condition like gout, it may do more harm than good.” They go on to say that but that those who already have arthritis should exercise caution because, “[m]any of the medicines your doctor prescribes to relieve sore joints don’t mix well with alcohol.2



  1. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2021). Alcohol’s Effects on Health: Alcohol’s Effects on the Body. Retrieved October 4, 2023 from
  2. Arthritis Foundation (n.d.). Alcohol and Arthritis. Retrieved October 4, 2023 from