Drinking reduces arthritis risk

July 29th, 2010 - 3:30 am ICT by IANS  

London, July 29 (IANS) A new study has revealed that drinking can reduce the chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
The research team from Sheffield University found people with the condition who said they drank alcohol on more than ten days in the last month showed less damage to their joints, less inflammation, less pain, swelling and disability than those who never drank alcohol.

The findings show that alcohol reduces the body’s immune response, dampening down symptoms. People who drank alcohol on more than ten days a month were four times less likely to have rheumatoid arthritis than those who never drank.

“There is some evidence to show that alcohol suppresses the activity of the immune system, and that this may influence the pathways by which RA develops,” telegraph.co.uk quoted lead author of the study Dr James Maxwell, a consultant rheumatologist at the Rotherham Foundation NHS Trust and Sheffield University, as saying.

“We do know that the changes in the immune system that lead to RA happen months and maybe even years before the arthritis actually develops.

“Once someone has developed RA, it’s possible that the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of alcohol may play a role in reducing the severity of symptoms.”

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