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Mineral water 'helps relieve rheumatoid arthritis'

A Scottish mineral water may help ease the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, according to new research.

The study of 35 arthritis sufferers found a reduction in inflammation among those that drank Deeside mineral water every day.

Researchers at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary claimed that three-quarters of the patients involved in the study reported 'significant benefits' from drinking the water. The research team, led by Dr David Galloway, believe the water's low alkaline and mineral content may help to reduce inflammation.

Deeside mineral water flows from Pannanich Wells, a spring near the royal estate of Balmoral. It has long been famed for its healing powers, supposedly helping to treat rheumatism, skin conditions and stomach complaints, and was believe to have been a favourite of Queen Victoria, according to BBC News Online.

However, the experts have stressed that the improvements may also have come from standard therapies the patients were using. Martin Simpson, managing director of the Deeside Water Company, stressed that it was not a miracle cure, but added that it "produces these positive effects because of unusual natural characteristics."

Dr Madeleine Devey, of the Arthritis Research Campaign, expressed scepticism about the findings, pointing out that any improvements may have been down to the drugs patients were taking.

The study is published in the journal General Practice.

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