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Too Much Water Poses Risks???
01-20-2008, 04:21 AM (This post was last modified: 01-20-2008 04:26 AM by sunshine.)
Post: #1
Too Much Water Poses Risks???
this is one article which I'm really not to sure what to
make of but found interesting enough to post, what are your
idea's on the following? I think transplant recipients should
follow the amount they've been told to drink, as it's very
important to the transplanted kidney, so if anyone has any
questions or concerns your doctor is your best source for information
and recommendation.


If you're one of those who quaffs eight glasses of water a day -- all in the interest of good health -- you might want to lay off the stuff.

A surprising study by Lawson Health Research Institute scientists in London suggests people are actually damaging their kidneys and blood vessels -- which can lead to heart failure and strokes -- by drinking large volumes of fluids.

"We are urging people to slow down until we know," said William Clark, leader of the Walkerton health study, a kidney specialist at the London Health Sciences Centre and a professor at the Schulich School of Medicine.

Clark said the final evidence should be available in about 18 months when studies are completed, but initial results have raised large red flags.

What is known, contrary to widely accepted health advice, is that drinking eight or more glasses of water has no health benefit, Clark said.

It also has been proven that in individuals who already have kidney damage, drinking large volumes of water increases the problem.

"Flushing your kidney actually accelerates the rate of loss of kidney function," he said.

What scientists found during intensive studies of the Walkerton population in the wake of the deadly E. coli water contamination in 2000 is that healthy individuals drinking large volumes of water had protein in their urine, known as proteinuria.

Proteinuria is an indication the kidney is being damaged.

When researchers asked the Walkerton individuals why they were drinking so much -- some as many as 16 glasses a day -- they were told it was for the health benefits.

"Our society tends to do things in an extreme fashion -- a little is good, then let's take a lot," Clark said.

About four per cent of the Walkerton population were found to be drinking excessive amounts of water.

Clark expects the percentage in urban areas may be higher because it has become fashionable and many believe it can increase energy levels, remove toxins from the body and aid weight loss.

"It is the No. 1 medical myth," he said.

People who damage their kidneys can experience kidney failure earlier in life and end up on dialysis.

Clark said he expects a strong reaction from the study, published this week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

"Some of the wealthiest corporations in the world are making more money selling bottled water than they have ever made selling pop. You know what? They are going to encourage this behaviour as much as they possibly can," he said.

Even when presented with the possibility they may be harming themselves, individuals resist reducing their water consumption, he found.

"They felt they were doing the right thing," he said.

In Walkerton, when individuals identified with proteinuria reduced their water consumption to less than eight glasses a day, the protein in their urine dropped to close to normal levels.

How much water should people drink a day?

Clark advises people to drink when they're thirsty.

"You just have to trust in your brain. It is pretty good and has worked well over the millenniums."


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01-20-2008, 05:24 AM
Post: #2
RE: Too Much Water Poses Risks???
sunshine Wrote:this is one article which I'm really not to sure what to
make of but found interesting enough to post, what are your
idea's on the following? I think transplant recipients should
follow the amount they've been told to drink, as it's very
important to the transplanted kidney, so if anyone has any
questions or concerns your doctor is your best source for information
and recommendation.

I just saw an article on Water myself here: article

Quote:Don't drink the water - at least, not too much

Sharon Kirkey , Canwest News Service

Canadian doctors are warning that drinking too much water may cause loss of kidney function - something they discovered purely accidentally.

Researchers who have been studying the health of residents of Walkerton, Ont., since the water supply was contaminated with E. coli in 2000, identified 100 otherwise healthy adults who had a condition called proteinuria, or abnormal amounts of protein in their urine.

None had any medical conditions or were on medications that would explain why.

Proteinuria can cause kidney failure and is a sign of microvascular disease, where the heart's tiny arteries are damaged, causing cardiac disease and cardiac death.

Of the 100 people, 56 agreed to follow-up testing and to reduce their fluid intake to fewer than eight large glasses per day for one week.

The result? The cases of proteinuria were "largely reversed."

"When we were in Walkerton we were surprised that almost five per cent of the population were drinking very large volumes of fluid," said Dr. William Clark, a scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ont., and professor of medicine at the University of Western Ontario.

"We went on the supposition that this must be because of the water contamination," meaning that when people moved to bottled water, they drank more. But Clark, project leader of the Walkerton Health Study, said most admitted to drinking vast amounts of water before the contamination crisis, for health reasons.

They were drinking, on average, at least four litres of fluid per day. "That would be about 18 large glasses of fluid per day," Clark said. Some people were drinking six litres. One woman, a health care worker, was drinking eight.

"They didn't like it when we asked them to reduce their fluid intake, although they did do it," Clark said.

"Most corrected their kidney abnormality. Some did not correct completely, meaning they may have a permanent bit of damage."

The study is published in this week's issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

"If you go on the Internet you'll get at least 500 hits on how healthy it is to drink as much water as humanly possible," Clark says. "Some health magazines recommend people drink a minimum of 12 to 15 glasses of fluid per day."

HIs team has been screening the population of Walkerton to track for health syndromes associated with E. coli damage. The big, silent problem is kidney damage.

The researchers measured urine protein levels from 2,253 adults who later attended a follow-up clinic annually between 2003 and 2005.

One day Clark saw 20 patients for kidney abnormalities who had increased protein excretion in the urine, "which we know is not only a marker of damage but causes damage." The condition causes progressive loss of kidney function and accelerates aging of the kidney.

After excluding diabetes or any other explanation that could cause the problem, "we still ended up with 100 people who had no explanation whatsoever," Clark says. On average, they were excreting almost three times the normal rate.

Treatment was simple, Clark says. "When they drank less water, the problem went away."

What's not known is "whether the proteinuria associated with excessive fluid intake in these otherwise healthy people will affect their kidney function in the long term," the researchers write in this week's journal article.

Until the final data is in, "it may be advisable to discourage otherwise healthy people from consuming large volumes of water."

"This was something we've never conceived of. It's not reported anywhere," Clark said in an interview.

"We're surprised at the high number of the general population who drink excessive quantities of fluid for no known health benefit." And he doesn't think the data is unique to Walkerton. "We're drinking lots of water, and people think it's healthy."

"We would recommend until we know better that maybe eight glasses of fluid a day is fine but probably less than six is better, unless you're in a very arid climate or carrying out marathon running or massive exertion or have a particular kind of kidney damage and you lose salt."

Fluid means "all fluids," including coffee, tea and juice.

Clark says flushing the kidneys doesn't help kidney function. What's more, a study in 2003 found that drinking lots of fluid speeds up kidney damage in people with impaired kidney function.

"We also know from New York marathon that those who died and who had cardiac arrhythmias and got into difficulty were the younger, inexperienced marathon runners who drank too much fluid."

Even doctors believe the medical myth that people should drink at least eight glasses of water a day, according to an article published last month in the British Medical Journal, in which researchers traced the notion back to a 1945 recommendation from the U.S. Nutrition Council that said people should drink the equivalent of about eight glasses of fluid per day.

Ignored in the original statement was that most of the fluid people need is found in food, especially fruits and vegetables, the researchers said.

Clark recommends people drink when they're thirsty.

© CanWest News Service 2008

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