No point drinking lots of water: study

April 3rd, 2008 - 12:26 pm ICT by admin  

New York, April 3 (IANS) A detailed re-look at what is known about the benefits of drinking water by the glassfuls reveals that the belief is not backed by hard evidence. While it is clear that humans cannot survive for long without water, very little research has assessed how drinking extra fluids affects the average individual’s health.

In a bid to probe the real benefits of drinking water, researchers Dan Negoianu and Stanley Goldfarb of the University of Pennsylvania reviewed the published clinical studies on the topic.

They found solid evidence that individuals in hot, dry climates, as well as athletes, have an increased need for water. Besides, people with certain diseases benefit from increased fluid intake.

But no such data exist for average, healthy individuals.

Findings of the study are scheduled to appear in the forthcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

In addition, no single study indicates that people need to drink the recommended eight glasses daily.

Indeed, it is unclear where this recommendation came from.

A variety of studies reveal that drinking water does have an impact on clearance of various substances by the kidney, including sodium and urea. However, these studies do not indicate any sort of clinical benefit that might result.

Negoianu and Goldfarb also investigated the theory that drinking more water will make people feel full and curb their appetite. Proponents say this may help people maintain their weight and even help fight obesity.

But studies remain inconclusive even on this count. No carefully designed clinical trials have measured the effects of water intake on weight maintenance.

In addition, water has been touted as an elixir for improved skin tone. While dehydration can increase skin dryness, no studies have shown any clinical benefit to skin tone as a result of increased water intake.

The literature review by Negoianu and Goldfarb reveals that there is no clear evidence of benefit to increasing water intake.

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