Study looks at alcohol as arthritis remedy


July 28, 2010 9:02:41 AM PDT
Drinking alcohol may help cut the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis and ease pain from the crippling disease, according to a new study done in Britain.

Researchers at the University of Sheffield found that arthritis patients who drank most frequently had symptoms that were less severe than in non-drinkers.

X-rays and blood tests showed less damage to joints, and patients reported less pain and swelling.

Researchers speculate that alcohol acts as a painkiller and suppresses the immune system, delaying the development of rheumatism. However, they warn that possible benefits of alcohol in relation to rheumatism must be weighed against the overall health risks of immoderate drinking.