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RAISE A MUG There’s no way yet to cure or pre­vent rheuma­toid arthri­tis (RA) – the con­di­tion that oc­curs when the body’s im­mune sys­tem mis­tak­enly at­tacks healthy tis­sue, lead­ing to painful in­flam­ma­tion of the joints and sur­round­ing tis­sues. But Har­vard re­searchers say that drink­ing beer may of­fer pro­tec­tion against de­vel­op­ing the con­di­tion. Their re­search pub­lished in Arthri­tis & Rheuma­tism, found that women who drank two to four beers per week had a 31% lower risk of de­vel­op­ing RA com­pared to women who never drank. Mod­er­ate con­sump­tion of any type of al­co­hol was as­so­ci­ated with a 21% lower risk. Women are much more likely than men to get RA, which usu­ally de­vel­ops be­tween ages 30 and 60. How­ever this study does not prove a cause-and-ef­fect link, so don’t use it as an ex­cuse to take up the al­co­hol habit.

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