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Women who drink more water have fewer UTIs

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For decades, it has been suggested that increasing fluid intake could prevent or cure urinary tract infections (UTIs). Now, a randomised clinical trial of women with recurrent UTIs has supported the folk wisdom, with women assigned to consume an extra 1.5 L of water per day for a year experienced half the number of infections. The researchers suggest this is likely due to increased urine volume and reduced bacterial load in the bladder. The journal's deputy editor is quick to point out holes in the trial: the results were self-reported, the trial was not blinded, and it was sponsored by a bottled water company. But she says the trial was effective and any safe drinking water will do.

Journal/conference: JAMA Internal Medicine

Organisation/s: University of Miami, Florida, USA

Funder: This study was funded by Danone Research, which sells bottled water including Evian that was used in this study.

Media Release

From: JAMA

Women Who Drank More Water Had Less Frequent Urinary Tract Infections

Premenopausal women with recurrent urinary tract infections (cystitis) who drank more water had less frequent infections in a randomized clinical trial. The study included 140 women with recurrent cystitis who reported drinking less than 1.5 liters of total fluid daily (about six 8-ounce glasses). During the 12 months of the trial, half the women were assigned to drink 1.5 liters of water in addition to their regular fluids, while the others not change their regular fluid intake. Episodes of cystitis were less frequent in women who drank more water for 12 months (average number of cystitis episodes was 1.7 for the women who drank more water compared with 3.2 for the women who didn’t). The study can’t tell researchers what amount of daily water intake is sufficient to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections or whether drinking more water is beneficial for women at lower risk for recurrent cystitis or women who regularly drink more fluids than those in this study. The authors suggest that drinking more water is a safe and inexpensive alternative strategy to prescribing antimicrobial treatment to try to prevent these infections.

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