Alcohol does much more harm to the body than just damaging the liver. Drinking also can weaken the immune system, slow healing, impair bone formation, increase the risk of HIV transmission and hinder recovery from burns, trauma, bleeding and surgery.
Researchers will release the latest findings on such negative effects of alcohol during a meeting Nov. 19 of the Alcohol and Immunology Research Interest Group at Loyola University Medical Center.
At Loyola, about 50 faculty members, technicians, post-doctoral fellows and students are conducting alcohol research.
“Studies at Loyola and other centers could lead to therapies to boost the immune system or otherwise minimize the effects of alcohol,” Elizabeth J. Kovacs, PhD, director of Loyola’s Alcohol Research Program and associate director of Loyola’s Burn and Shock Trauma Institute, stated in a press release.
“Of course, the best way to prevent the damaging effects of alcohol is to not drink in the first place,” Kovacs said. “But it is very difficult to get people to do this.”
The conference is supported by Loyola’s Alcohol Research Program and Department of Surgery at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, the Society for Leukocyte Biology and the NIAAA.