CHICAGO, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Alcohol not only hurts the liver, it
can weaken the immune system, slow healing, impair bone growth
and raise the risk of HIV transmission, U.S. experts say.
Elizabeth J. Kovacs, director of Loyola's Alcohol Research
Program and of Loyola's Burn & Shock Trauma Institute in Chicago,
says alcohol can also hinder recovery from burns, trauma,
bleeding and surgery.
At Loyola, about 50 faculty members, technicians, post-doctoral
fellows and students are conducting alcohol research that could
lead to therapies to boost the immune system or otherwise
minimize the effects of alcohol.
"Of course, the best way to prevent the damaging effects of
alcohol is to not drink in the first place," Kovacs says in a
statement. "But it is very difficult to get people to do this."
Researchers released their latest findings on the negative
effects of alcohol at a meeting of the Alcohol and Immunology
Research Interest Group, held at Loyola University Medical
Center, Kovacs says.