Drinking alcohol could help lessen the severity of rheumatoid arthritis, and even decrease the risk of developing the disease, Agence France-Presse reported.
According to a study at the University of Sheffield in Britain, 1,004 patients suffering from arthritis were surveyed on how much alcohol they had consumed in the previous month, as well as given blood tests, X-rays and joint examinations.
"We found that patients who had drunk alcohol most frequently had symptoms that were less severe than those who had never drunk alcohol or only drunk it infrequently," said lead author James Maxwell, a rheumatologist at the Rotherham Foundation NHS Trust.
X-rays and blood tests of those who most frequently drank alcohol showed less damage and less inflammation to their bones, and decreased pain and disability.
Previous studies have shown similar results in rodents, but this is the first study to prove the positive effect on humans.
There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis.