Alcohol and resistance to infections.

C Manso

Abstract


The main defense mechanisms of the human body are described. The essential steps of the immune responses are summarized, emphasising the importance of cytokines, especially II-1, TNF and TGF. Alcohol acts as an immunosuppressor in different ways, namely through suppression of TNF synthesis. The consequence is the appearance of respiratory infections, including pneumonia, tuberculosis, AIDS, infections and cancer of the digestive tract and a status of chronic inflammation which leads to hepatic cyrrhosis.

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