Arthritis Sufferers May Lower Pain Risk By Drinking Alcohol


1.3 million U.S. rheumatoid arthritis sufferers may have less pain in their futures, based on a study released in the journal Rheumatology.

British researchers conducted a study of 1877 people and concluded that drinking alcohol may alleviate some symptoms of pain in patients affected by rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


The study compared 873 arthritis patients with 1,004 people from the general population, who did not have the inflammatory disease. According to rheumatology expert Dr. James Maxwell, leader of the study, the people who drank alcohol more frequently, had the lowest amount of pain, and had the lowest risk of an inflammatory response.

The researchers are unsure why alcohol drinking reacts in the human body as an anti-inflammatory drug, but they suspect that alcohol alters the immune system in a positive fashion. They advise patients to use caution and drink alcohol in moderation. Limiting alcohol intake to ten units or less per week will help protect from liver damage, and help to prevent a secondary health issue.

Previous research on alcohol consumption and the possibility that it will lower the risk of RA, was also confirmed by this study. But researchers are quick to point out that alcohol intake will most likely not prevent the disease from occurring.

Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol has also been found to be beneficial in reducing strokes, heart attacks and diabetes.