More reason for arthritis sufferers to buy wine

Many of us have very personal reasons to buy wine, whether we use it as a focal point for social gatherings, as practice when refining our palate, or simply because we like the taste.

But recent research published in the journal Arthritis Research & Therapy indicates yet another potential health benefit of moderate consumption of wine.

Researchers from the University of Michigan and the Mayo Clinic found that low to moderate intake of alcohol seems to reduce the severity of fibromyalgia symptoms.

Moderate intake is defined as up to seven 'standard drinks' per week, the US equivalent of British units; one standard drink is equivalent to 148ml of wine, meaning a moderate drinker can consume just over a litre of wine per week.

Stick to this approximate limit when you buy wine, and the researchers believe you can reduce your fibromyalgia symptoms - although they add that excessive consumption is not recommended.

Dr Terry Oh admits that the positive effects may in fact be boosted by the social aspects of wine consumption, saying: "The effects of alcohol may also be due to improved mood, socialisation and tension."