Alcohol to Ward Off Arthritis
alcohol consumption may lower the risk of developing
rheumatoid arthritis, according to two Scandinavian
studies. A Danish study comparing 444 people with
rheumatoid arthritis to 523 similar people without
arthritis and a Swedish study involving 1,204
rheumatoid arthritis cases and 871 people without
In both studies, the average
number of alcoholic drinks consumed per week was
lower among the people with arthritis than the
comparison subjects - 2.9 vs 4.1 in the Swedish
study, and 6.6 vs 9.0 in the Danish study.
likelihood of having rheumatoid arthritis was
reduced by about 40 percent to 50 percent among
subjects with the highest consumption of alcohol
compared to those with the lowest consumption.
studies, the risk reduction with alcohol consumption
was more pronounced among people who had smoked than
message remains that cessation of smoking is the
most effective way to diminish the risk of
rheumatoid arthritis. This recommendation should not
necessarily be combined with a recommendation to
stop moderate alcohol consumption.
. . .
But Too Much Damages
Heart and Arteries
Heavy drinking causes high
blood pressure, stiff arteries and rigid heart
muscles in men and enlarged hearts in women,
boosting their risk of having heart attacks and
strokes, researchers said recently.
They defined heavy drinking as
more than 21 drinks a week for men and more than 14
per week for women. We
definitely see quite a deleterious effect..
worrisome aspect is in women. It has a direct toxic
effect. Basically, women are not able to cope
with high alcohol consumption.
It is going directly to the heart and damaging it.
Once a heart becomes enlarged – a
sign it has been overtaxed- it is difficult to
reverse. Mahmud said prior studies have suggested
that people with enlarged hearts are five to six
times more likely to have heart attacks.
Moderate drinking has been shown in many studies to
have heart benefits. But heavy drinking counteracts
these benefits and can cause serious harm, she said.
and women with an average age of 46 who were
referred to her hypertension clinic but were not
being treated for high blood pressure. People in the
study were put into three categories:
non-drinkers, moderate drinkers (fewer than 21
drinks a week for men and fewer than 14 a week for
women), and heavy drinkers (more than 21 drinks a
week for men and more than 14 weekly for women).
percent of the women fell into the heavy drinker
category and nearly 40 percent of the men were heavy
drinkers. The researchers measured the heart muscle
and assessed stiffness of arteries and blood
pressure inside the aorta.:p>
They found men who were the
heaviest drinkers were the most likely to have high
blood pressure and stiffening of the arteries and
WoWomen who were the heaviest
drinkers were most likely to have enlarged hearts.
drinking seemed to accelerate the effects of high
blood pressure in men, and cause a direct toxic
effect to heart tissue in women. The findings were
above what would be expected for people of the same
age with high blood pressure.
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer
globally. According to the
World Health Organi21ation, heart disease killed
17.5 million people in 2005, and that number is
expected to rise to nearly 20 million by