Alcohol helps cut disability caused by chronic pain from conditions like fibromyalgia say scientists

Reseachers found that people who drank the equivalent of two pints of beer a day were better off than those who did not touch a dropConsuming alcohol regularly reduces disability from chronic pain, experts say

 

Two pints of beer a day could help to reduce disability in people with chronic pain, according to a new report yesterday.

In a study of 2,239 individuals with chronic widespread pain, the key feature of conditions such as fibromyalgia, those who regularly consumed alcohol had lower levels of disability than those who never or rarely drank.

Those who drank 21 to 35 units of alcohol per week were 67 per cent less likely than non-drinkers to experience disability.

“We cannot say that alcohol consumption causes less disability among people with chronic widespread pain.

“But the observed link warrants further investigation,” said Dr Gary Macfarlane, co-author of the Arthritis Care & Research study, who is professor of epidemiology at the University of Aberdeen.

One unit of alcohol is a half pint of average strength beer/lager, one small glass of wine, or one single measure of spirits.

The study is the latest of many to suggest the benefits of alcohol, but health groups stress that this means drinking in moderation.

“The important part of that message is that “alcohol in moderation” means one or two glasses of wine, beer or spirits. Not three,” says the Arthritis Foundation website at www.arthritis.org.

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