A bunch of Swedish academics found that women who drank at least three medium-sized glasses of wine a week – or the equivalent in beer or spirits – were up to 52 per cent less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.
Arthritis causes pain and swelling in the hands, wrists and feet and can make everyday tasks almost impossible and mostly affect women between the ages of 40 and 70.Currently doctors are unable to prevent or cure the illness and they can only offer treatment to alleviate pain.
Scientists believe that alcohol can counter this process because it lowers the body’s immune response. But they have not been able to establish whether drinking more alcohol reduces the risk even further.
In this latest study, scientist from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm studied 34,100 women aged 39 to 84.
They had all filled in surveys on how often they had drunk wine, spirits or beer over the course of a year. Those who drank at least three 150 ml glasses of wine, one pint of beer or two measures of spirits over a week were 52 per cent less at risk from rheumatoid arthritis.
Daniela Di Guiseppe, a PhD student who contributed to the research said: ‘The results of this study indicate that moderate consumption of alcohol may reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis among women.’