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Bit of booze a day keeps the doctor away

It has been known for a long time that moderate alcohol consumption is associated with lower mortality, and now a new study has found that moderate consumption of alcohol could bolster our immune system, and potentially our ability to fight infections.

Lead author Ilhem Messaoudi, an associate professor of biomedical sciences in the School of Medicine said the study was conducted on non-human primates, shows for the first time that voluntary moderate alcohol consumption boosts immune responses to vaccination.

To study the impact of alcohol consumption on the immune system, the researchers trained 12 rhesus macaques to self-administer or consume alcohol on their own accord.

The team first vaccinated the animals (against small pox) and then allowed them to access either 4 percent ethanol (the experimental group) or calorically matched sugar water (the control group). All the animals also had open access to water as an alternative fluid, as well as food.

The researchers then proceeded to monitor the animals’ daily ethanol consumption for 14 months. The animals were vaccinated one more time, seven months after the experiment began.

Health risks of antibacterial soaps may outweigh benefits

The Food and Drug Administration in America has ordered a safety review of antibacterial soaps after a new study warned that such products contain ingredients that make humans resistant to antibiotics.

Colleen Rogers, an FDA microbiologist, said that the new data suggests that the risks associated with long-term, daily use of antibacterial soaps may outweigh the benefits as such products may also have “unanticipated hormonal effects that are of concern,” the BBC reported.

FDA said in a statement that scientists had tested the effects of chemicals in such products on animals and found that they do indeed alter hormones.

The statement added that it is now important to be check the results on humans because so many people use them.

Vitamin supplements don’t hold any health benefits

Supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful, researchers have revealed.

The authors of three new studies said these vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention, while urging consumers to not “waste” their money on multivitamins, CBS News reported.

Co-author Dr. Edgar Miller, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, told the publication that spend the money on fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, low fat dairy, etc will protect you long term.

The strong message was based on a review of the findings from three studies that tracked multivitamins link to cancer protection, heart health, and brain and cognitive measures.

The studies were published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

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