Scientists in Spain are reporting a link between moderate alcohol consumption and antibodies found at high levels in people prone to developing allergies.
The antibodies, known as IgE antibodies, cause allergic symptoms by overreacting to generally harmless substances inhaled from the air such as pollen, mold or animal dander.
The research found that regular alcohol intake higher one drink per day was associated with increased total (blood) IgE levels in the patients studied. The researchers measured blood levels of IgE of 460 patients attending an allergy clinic.
The patients also reported their weekly alcohol consumption. Most of the patients were diagnosed as being atopic, meaning that they produced high levels of IgE and were likely to suffer from allergic illnesses such as hay fever, asthma or the skin condition eczema.
In patients allergic to house dust mites, regular alcohol intake was associated with increased (blood) levels of specific IgE against these mites.
The findings certainly suggest that if you drink moderate alcohol you are more likely to develop an allergic reaction to something.
Even though the findings show that alcohol affects a person's immune response, more time and study is needed to know whether or not drinking alcohol makes a person more susceptible to allergies.
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