Wine drinkers less likely to catch a cold.




Am J Epid

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Consumer Data: Colds and Flu
Professional Data: Colds and Flu


Americans spend over one billion dollars annually on nonprescription treatments for coughs and colds, including antipyretics, antihistamines, cough preparations, and decongestants in various combinations. Although these agents may help the symptoms of colds and flu to subside gradually, they do not address the underlying condition, including immune and nutrition status.

Symptoms of colds may include rhinorrhea, sneezing, nasal stuffiness, throat clearing, postnasal drip, cough, and nasal obstruction. A sore throat and/or cough may also be present. Other symptoms may include pharyngitis, laryngitis, headache, malaise, and fever, usually in various combinations. Ear and sinus problems are often present as well.

No methods have been developed to effectively prevent colds to date. Vaccines are not likely to be effective in preventing the common cold, due to the large number of immuno-types and the lack of solid immunity to re-infection with the other viruses. Treatment of colds is largely symptomatic, with antibiotics not recommended for use in the therapy of uncomplicated colds and influenza due to the viral nature of the disease.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology investigated the effects of beer, wine, and spirits intake on the risk of the common cold. This study was conducted from 1998 to 1999 and involved 4,272 Spanish individuals. A questionnaire at baseline was used to assess the amount of alcohol intake in these participants. The researchers found that there were 1,353 cases of the common cold. The results showed that beer and spirits were not linked to a lessened risk of colds. However, wine intake was inversely associated with a risk of the common cold. After adjustments for age, sex, and status, the relationship was stronger with red wine. The researchers concluded that their "findings suggest that wine intake, especially red wine, may have a protective effect against common cold." 1


1. Takkouche B. Intake of Wine, Beer, and Spirits and the Risk of Clinical Common Cold. Am J Epid. May 2002;155(9):853-858.