You may not realize it, but right now you are in the middle of National Women’s Health Week. It’s an observance led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health and the goal is to empower women to make their health a priority. They want women to get active, eat healthy, receive regular checkups and preventative screenings, pay attention to mental health, and avoid unhealthy behaviors like smoking and texting while driving.
Seems pretty legit, right?
This is obviously a website for alcohol lovers, but we still like to work in some healthy talk once in a while for you wellness-minded people. We’ve written about things like cocktails to help lower your stress levels, how red wine may have some lung cancer curing properties, and popular diets that want you to drink. Well, today we read some interesting health news that we thought might correspond well with this week’s celebration of women’s health.
In the spring 2014 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, researchers discussed a study they did that looked at how beer may affect rheumatoid arthritis in women. The Arthritis Foundation says over 1.5 million Americans suffer from the disease, but it’s definitely something that affects more women than men; it typically starts in a woman’s 20s or 30s. Lead researcher, Dr. Bing Lu, concluded that “long-term moderate alcohol drinking may reduce future rheumatoid arthritis development.”
Overall, moderate use of any type of alcohol reduced a woman’s risk of rheumatoid arthritis by about 21 percent, but moderate beer drinking – which is two to four beers per week – cut a woman’s odds for the disease by nearly a third. The research team can’t explain why this happens, and they also don’t know if it will apply to men, but that’s fine with us because a) we wouldn’t understand the scientific explanation anyway and b) we will accept any reason to regularly drink beer. The researchers do say, though, that it’s possible alcohol may work to boost levels of estrogen, which is protective against rheumatoid arthritis. Makes sense.
So, ladies, as you celebrate National Women’s Health Week, don’t be afraid to head to your local pub and find out what they’ve got on tap. You’ll be doing your health a favor.