The Daily Mail reports on research presented to the American College Of Rheumatology meeting in San Diego, which claimed that a chemical in red wine known as resveratrol protects knee joint cells from arthritis.
The results, presented at a recent American College Of Rheumatology meeting in San Diego, showed the wine chemical protected cells in the knee joint against further damage.
The Arthritis Research Campaign estimates that nearly 4.5million people have moderate to severe problems in their hands.
The NHS carries out an estimated 1,500 operations a week just to replace knees and hips worn out by osteoarthritis, at a cost of over £400 million.
In a healthy joint, the cartilage acts as a cushion, spreading forces evenly when pressure is applied.
The cartilage stays slippery and smooth thanks to a thick fluid - called synovial fluid - produced by a membrane that surrounds the joint.
In severe cases, the bones grind together, which can be extremely painful.
Treatments range from painkilling creams and pills to steroid injections, designed to curb the swelling inside the joint.
The latest findings hint at a possible new treatment based on red wine, although the research is still at a very early stage.
A team of scientists from the New York University School Of Medicine decided to see if the anti-oxidant resveratrol would prevent what is called 'oxidative injury'.
This is where oxygen-rich particles cause severe damage to body cells through oxidation, a process some scientists compare to the way rust rots a car.
They chose the wine compound because a wide range of studies suggests it has powerful healing properties that could combat illnesses from Alzheimer's and heart disease to lung cancer and colds.
The results showed it slashed production of chemicals that cause inflammation in the joints by between 50 and 90 per cent.
"We already know red wine
- in moderation - has a beneficial effect in other diseases, such as heart diseases."
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