Moderate consumption may lower risk of rheumatoid arthritis
A study conducted by researchers at the Karolinska Institute suggests that women who consumed alcohol moderately over a 10 year period were less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis. Approximately 1.5 million American adults live with rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease. Researchers believe that alcohol effects the disease because spirits suppress the body’s immune system.
The research, which is published online in the British Medical Journal, included 34,141 Swedish women whose health information was recorded in 1987 and 1997. Then, researchers followed up again with the women between 2003 and 2009 to find that 197 of them had developed rheumatoid arthritis.
After taking into account other factors like age, diet and smoking, the researchers found that people who reported drinking more than three alcoholic beverages a week — where a single beverage is defined as 500 milliliters of beer, 150 milliliters of wine or 50 milliliters of liquor — had a 52 percent lower rheumatoid arthritis risk, compared with people who never drank.
While the research emphasizes moderate consumption, it also indicates the positive health benefits of alcohol revealed by numerous previous studies, including one on osteoporosis.