A New Study Suggests A Potential Link Between Wine And COVID-19

A new study from UK Biobank and Frontiers of Nutrition shows a correlation between drinking wine and lower risks of testing positive for the COVID-19 virus, according to Wine Searcher. The study looked at data for nearly 500,000 British individuals, specifically instances of positive COVID-19 tests, how much participants drink, and what they drink.

The study found that those who drink red wine, up to 14 glasses per week, were 10% to 17% less likely to test positive for the virus. Those who drink up to five glasses of white wine and/or sparkling wine per week were 7% to 8% less likely to get a positive test result. Those who drink fortified wine (which Eater explains are simply wines that incorporate a distilled spirit, and include options such as sherry, vermouth, and port) were 12% less likely to test positive for COVID-19, so long as they consumed two or fewer glasses per week. The study suggests that those who drink spirits experienced no deviation in their test results, as long their intake remained below five servings per week. After that point, their likelihood of testing positive for the virus appeared to increase.

Take this data with a grain of salt

The study was quick to point out that the results indicated correlation, not causation (via Wine Searcher). The Australian Bureau of Statistics explains that this important distinction means there is a relationship between the two sets of data, but one does not directly cause the other. While the instances of wine intake and negative tests were occurring at the same time, there's nothing to suggest that wine is necessarily protecting the study participants. In fact, the study indicates that those who drank more than a certain amount of alcohol might have a higher risk. 

The World Health Organization is also quick to point out that alcohol cannot kill the COVID-19 virus and alcohol use in general impacts one's body. Additionally, one 2020 study from the Drug and Alcohol Review posed that alcohol use may have strained the health care system during the pandemic.Your best bet for drinking wine and other beverages is to follow trusted guidelines about the virus and alcohol consumption, like those available from Mayo Clinic.