When you think of drinking while traveling there’s a chance some memories are bad—that tequila bender in Tijuana, or an unfortunate case of beer one time in Panama City Beach. According to researchers, that handle of Patron you polished off before things went a little dark for a day may have actually saved you from an even worse fate, like Montezuma’s Revenge (a.k.a. traveler’s diarrhea).
The Sun interviewed food scientist Richard Conroy about how booze can fight off the Turkey trots. He said the dangerous, illness-inducing bugs that can plague unwary vacationers don’t hold up well against “wine, beer, gin and other alcohols.”
“Tests have shown that there’s anti-microbial properties in wine,” Conroy told The Sun, “which help defend against bacteria, and red appears to do a better job than white due to an increased number of antioxidants.”
The paper also quoted a Texas doctor familiar with research into liquor’s antimicrobial powers, Dr. Walter Peterson. “Drinking alcohol in moderation, especially wine and beer, stimulates acid secretion in the stomach,” Peterson said, “which might lower the risk of food poisoning.”
One study reportedly even pitted the sometimes deadly E.Coli bacteria against Pinot Noir, and the wine came out on top, destroying the bug within an hour. It was even more effective against salmonella.
For the skeptic, it’s worth noting that a researcher determined in 2012 that even 200 years ago survivors of cholera outbreaks were often likely to be fans of the hi-test gin in fashion at the time.
So there you have it. That old joke about a shot of the hard stuff being used for purely medicinal reasons was basically true all along.