Already have a glass of wine with dinner a couple nights a week? That could work in your favor this winter. After giving 12 rhesus macaques small pox vaccines and gauging their response, the researchers trained the monkeys to imbibe on their own and gave them access to either 4 percent ethanol or sugar water with the same amount of calories (the control group). They tracked the monkeys' alcohol consumption for 14 months, vaccinating them again after the first seven months. Though the monkeys all responded to the first vaccine similarly, the moderate drinkers of the test group saw increased vaccine response than both the non-drinkers and heavy drinkers after the second.
Those that tossed back the most ethanol, on the other hand, had a weakened immune system. In fact, a recent study confirmed the immune system distruption caused by large amounts of alcohol in young adults. Keep your cocktail consumption moderate and you can feel smug knowing your drink of choice is keeping those winter illnesses at bay.