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