Friday, July 30, 2010

Here's good news for elbow benders!

Our interest is mainly in genetic causation, how it works, and how traits evolved. But of course we can't resist a good, juicy story about biological cause and effect. Especially when it has major life-style implications. Here's one from the BBC that does just that, especially for any senior blogsters who may see this post!

You're always told not to drink, at least not too much. Partly this is because drinking is fun, fun is sin, and we (in the US) are damned if we're gonna sin (openly). But if you're arthritic you may have difficulty or pain when trying to get the mug up to your mug, so you have to deal soberly with your disease. Or so you may have thought!

Now, the Beeb reports on a new British study that found that drinking helps not just reduce the pain (after all, when you're zonked, you don't care!), but also the actual severity of the arthritis. The authors put in the pro-forma caveat about not overdoing it (the Church of England probably insisted on that bow to virtue), but who's gonna listen to them?
Scientists at the University of Sheffield asked two groups of patients with and without the disease to provide details of their drinking habits.
They found that patients who had drunk alcohol most frequently experienced less joint pain and swelling.
And there's more. Quaffing apparently can reduce the risk of swollen joints in the first place. So, here's to TGIF every day, and from a young age!

We must add, sadly, that this study (like so many vitally important studies our tax pounds, euros, or dollars pay for, to keep up the professoriat's lifestyle) is seriously flawed and probably will not have very wide applicability.

This is because only in Britain is it typical to get wiped by downing pints of beer. Pints are heavy-lifting (when full), so the degree of stress relief in pubs is probably greater than that in bars in the US.

We're sure that the international difference is enough to warrant an expensive study or two by NIH to see what gives in the US. We volunteer as subjects! We're not arthritic, fortunately, but any good study needs normal 'controls'.


JKW said...

You shouldn't participate as a research subject alone - sign me up as a "control" as well! :)

Texbrit said...

Who cares if it's a rubbish study, we like the results! :)

Jennifer said...

I know several people with arthrtis who would be happy to participate in the study group