While I’m not suggesting we all go out and get smashing drunk until we’re too old to care, there are more benefits!
Rheumatoid arthritis patients who drink alcohol tend to have less severe symptoms than those who don’t, a new study finds. Earlier research has shown that compared to teetotalers, alcohol drinkers are less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, a progressive and often disabling inflammatory disease that attacks the joints.
But the study is the first to suggest drinking alcohol can lessen the severity of symptoms in people who already have the disease. Patients in the study who drank at least 10 alcoholic beverages a month had 20% to 30% less pain and inflammation than patients who didn’t drink alcohol, rheumatologist and study co-author James Maxwell of England’s University of Sheffield tells WebMD.
While he acknowledges more study is needed to confirm the association, Maxwell says the evidence is mounting that moderate alcohol consumption reduces both the risk and severity of rheumatoid arthritis. “Generally speaking, it appears that drinking alcohol in moderation may benefit patients with rheumatoid arthritis.”