Immune System & Inflammatory Conditions

Researchers have reported that excessive alcohol consumption may weaken your immune system, but that moderate consumption may also reduce inflammation and the risk of developing arthritis.

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.1

According to The Arthritis Foundation, “enjoying a drink with some regularity might reduce your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA)” and that “alcohol’s anti-inflammatory effects are also thought to be one of the reasons it appears to lower cardiovascular disease risk in moderate drinkers.”2

However, the Arthritis Foundation adds that, “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, “many of the medicines your doctor prescribes to relieve sore joints don’t mix well with alcohol.”3

Find research articles and learn more at PubMed:


  1. Alcohol’s Effects on the Body | National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) (
  2. The Arthritis Foundation, Alcohol and Arthritis
  3. The Arthritis Foundation, Alcohol and Arthritis