Good news for drinkers. Moderate consumption of alcohol has been associated with a reduced risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

According to a study published on bmj.com, women who regularly consumed more than three alcoholic drinks a week for at least 10 years had a 52% reduced risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis compared with non-drinkers.

alcohol helps rheumatoid arthritis

Could wine with dinner keep your joints healthy?

These findings add to a growing body of evidence that long term moderate alcohol consumption is not harmful and may protect against a chronic disease like rheumatoid arthritis, say the study's authors in a statement.

After adjusting for factors such as age, smoking and dietary habits, women who reported drinking more than three glasses of alcohol per week in both 1987 and 1997 had a 52% reduced risk of rheumatoid arthritis compared with never drinkers at both assessments.

Scroll down to see other treats with surprising health benefits

However, they stress that the effect of higher doses of alcohol on the risk of rheumatoid arthritis remains unknown.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory joint disorder that usually develops between the ages of 40 and 50.

According to Arthritis Research UK, rheumatoid arthritis is the second most common form of arthritis in the UK and the most common inflammatory joint disorder. It causes joint pain and swelling, stiffness and fatigue - and is three times more common in women than men.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Coffee

    <strong>Bad rep:</strong> Coffee is bad for you because it increase blood pressure. <strong>Good news:</strong> If you can't make it through the day without your daily caffeine hit, here's some good news for you - drinking two to four cups of coffee a day could significantly reduce your risk of a stroke. The study discovered that people who drank two cups of coffee a day, reduced their risk of a stroke by 14%. Furthermore, big coffee drinkers, who downed up to four cups a day, were 17% less likely to suffer from a stroke or blood clots.

  • Bread

    <strong>Bad rep:</strong> Bread is full of salt, sugar and bad carbohydrates, causing weight gain and soaring sugar levels. <strong>Good news:</strong> Swapping white bread with wholemeal, brown bread can increase fibre intake and contain complex carbohydrates, which boost energy levels.

  • Chocolate

    <strong>Bad rep:</strong> Full of sugary fats and packed with caffeine <strong>Good news:</strong> No, you're not halloucinating - chocolate can be good for your health! A recent study by Wayne State University found that those who would rather eat chocolate than exercise can take heart from new research that suggests one is as good as the other. Scientists found that small amounts of dark chocolate may improve health in a similar way to exercise. How? Epicatechin, a plant compound in chocolate, appeared to stimulate the same muscle response as vigorous activity.

  • Eggs

    <strong>Bad rep:</strong> Increase cholesterol levels. <strong>Good news:</strong> Yes, egg yolks contain cholesterol, but they're also packed full of protein and are also good sources of choline, which has been linked with preserving memory, and lutein and zeaxanthin, which may protect against vision loss from age-related macular degeneration.

  • Peanut Butter

    <strong>Bad rep:</strong> Full of saturated fat and salt. <strong>Good news:</strong> Peanut butter is loaded with 'good' fats, protein, vitamin E, niacin, folic acid, and magnesium.

  • Red Wine

    <strong>Bad rep:</strong> Full of sugar and bad for your liver and waistline. <strong>Good news:</strong> An ingredient in red wine can stop breast cancer cells growing and may combat resistant forms of the disease, research suggests. Resveratrol, a plant chemical found in grapes and red wine, blocks the cancer-fuelling effects of the female hormone oestrogen, studies have shown. It can also inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells that have become hormone resistant, say scientists.

SEE ALSO: