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.