Misinformation about ethanol drinking and COVID-19: A mini review

Document Type : Review


1 Halal Research Center of IRI., Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Tehran, Iran.

2 School of Science, STEM College, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia.


Background and objective: Alcohol drinking is popular among adolescents, largely due to its pleasant and relaxing effects. There is a mixture of opinions on alcohol's beneficial or harmful effects on the body. Some studies have shown that low to moderate alcohol intake can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, but other studies have demonstrated the deleterious consequences of alcohol consumption especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. This review briefly addressed the main side effects of ethanol drinking and misconceptions about its role in suppression of COVID-19.
Results and conclusion: The literatures indicate that ethanol-intoxicated people suffer from significant malabsorption of nutrients due to suppressed peristaltic movements, gastric mucosal lesions, and alcohol-associated diarrhea. Alcohol use can also cause endotoxemia, followed by activation of oxidative pathways in the liver. In general, no safe threshold is defined for ethanol consumption. It is believed that the benefits of low-dose alcohol drinking on reducing cardiovascular outcomes are largely compensated by its stimulatory effects on the development of cancers especially breast cancer in women. Considering the adverse impacts of ethanol on human health and impaired immunity, no evidence of COVID-19 suppression has been reported for ethanol consumption in the population. Therefore, no ethanol consumption or at least its limited intake is recommended.


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