Monday, June 25, 2007

Drinking Negates Smoking's Impact on Rheumatoid Arthritis

tidbits that tantalizeMore Good News...

Now, this is truly an odd situation.

Perhaps the two greatest vices known to man - well, certainly two of the top five - seem to have formed a strange partnership. Smoking and drinking have been partners forever, but new research shows one of them isn't pulling its weight.

Scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have some kind words about alcohol - not so, however, when it comes to tobacco. A recent study reveals that regular consumption of alcohol protects against rheumatoid arthritis. Good news indeed.

The study reports those drinking 3 units of alcohol per week reduced their risk of developing arthritis by 50%. Still thirsty? Those drinking 10 units each week received even greater protection. Now, if we only had a clue as to what a "unit" of alcohol may represent...

Actually, each unit of alcohol is the equivalent of a glass of wine, or a small beer. No definitive guidelines were offered as to units of beer nuts, pretzels, and deep-fried-cheese-based foods.

The positive effect of the alcohol is enough to offset the negative impact of smoking. In addition to multiple other health complications, smoking increases the risk of developing arthritis.

So, as odd as it seems, it appears smokers can now order a beer, and then turn to their friends and say, "I'm doing it for my health."

To read more about the study, see this from Reuters. To read more about smoking's negative impact, and find resources to help you quit, see this from the Centers for Disease Control.


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