Combs Spouts Off

"It's my opinion and it's very true."

Protect your joints, have another drink

Posted by Richard on June 7, 2008

Need another reason to attend tonight's Blogger Bash? Well, just tell yourself that you need to drink more to protect yourself from a crippling disease. New research suggests that alcohol consumption can cut your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis in half:

The Scandinavian researchers base their findings on more than 2750 people taking part in two separate studies, which assessed environmental and genetic risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis.

The results showed that drinking alcohol was associated with a significantly lower risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. And the more alcohol was consumed, the lower the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.

Among those who drank regularly, the quarter with the highest consumption were up to 50% less likely to develop the disease compared with the half who drank the least.

Ladies and gentlemen, tonight let us drink a toast to those Scandinavian researchers! Maybe a toast to each of the researchers!

Among those with antibodies to a specific group of proteins involved in the development of the disease, alcohol cut the risk most in smokers with genetic risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis.

The authors conclude that their research reinforces the importance of lifestyle factors in the development of the disease, and that giving up smoking remains the single most important preventive measure.

Hmm, I don't know. It sounds like taking up drinking is a pretty important preventive measure, even for smokers, and by far the most important for non-smokers. But researchers are always reluctant to say positive things about "vices," no matter how strong the evidence. Bad for their employers' public relations and their chances of getting more grant money.

Nonetheless, good news for those of the imbibing persuasion. Skol!

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