Study finds alcohol lowers risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis

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A study of more than 34,000 women in Sweden suggests that those who drink alcohol in moderation have a significantly lower risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis than those who don’t drink at all.

In the study, women who consumed at least 4 drinks per week had a 37 percent lower risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis than those reporting never drinking or consuming less than 1 drink per week.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that mainly affects joints, sometimes producing deformities.

Alcohol appears to reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis by reducing levels of pro-inflammatory compounds known as cytokines.

“This paper brings a further contribution to a basic concept recently emerging from biomedical literature. Apparently, ethanol produces an anti-inflammatory effect. It is known that ethanol produces electrophiles. These are unquestionably toxic at high doses, but at low doses activate the defense system,” a reviewer from the International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research explained.

Photo credit: Prashanth NS

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