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Thursday 20th October 2016

Alcohol helps arthritis

28th July 2010

Researchers at the University of Sheffield have said that drinking alcohol could help with symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). 


According to the results of a study, people who drank alcoholic drinks had less joint pain and swelling than people who did not.

The researchers looked at two groups of people - 1,004 people who did not have rheumatoid arthritis and 874 people who had the condition.

Both groups filled in a questionnaire, were given x-rays, blood tests and joint examinations.

Each group was questioned to find out how much alcohol the participants had consumed in the month prior to the study.

Dr James Maxwell, consultant rheumatologist and lead author of the study, said: "We found that patients who had drunk alcohol most frequently had symptoms that were less severe than those who had never drunk alcohol or only drunk it infrequently."

The study showed that patients who drank did not have as much damage to their joints or as much inflammation as people who did not drink.

Dr Maxwell added that some evidence suggested that alcohol supressed the immune system, and "that this may influence the pathways by which RA 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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