The next time someone offers you a glass of wine, be grateful - it could save you from the agony of arthritis.
Women who indulge in moderate drinking halve the risk of certain forms of the illness, researchers have found.
Swedish scientists found that women who drank at least three medium-sized glasses of wine a week - or the equivalent in beer or spirits - were up to 52 percent less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.
The illness is caused by the immune system - which normally fights infection - attacking the cells lining the joints.
Academics believe alcohol counters this process because it lowers the immune response. Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm quizzed 34,100 women aged 39 to 84 about their drinking habits.