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'Extra water only stretches your bladder'

Two American kidney experts have come up with a study which dismisses the myth that drinking lots of water clears body toxins better, improves skin tone and helps reducing weight, reports Vidya Krishnan.
Hindustan Times | By Vidya Krishnan, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 08, 2008 07:47 PM IST

Drinking lots of water doesn’t really do wonders to your body, as is the popular belief, according to the two American kidney experts. In a study, they have dismissed as myths the beliefs that drinking lot of water clears body toxins better, improves skin tone and helps reducing weight.

There is no scientific proof to establish that average healthy people needed to drink at least eight glasses of water each day, the doctors have said in a new scientific review published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. All that excessive water does is ensure more trips to the loo.

Dr Dan Negoianu and Dr Stanley Goldfarb of the Renal, Electrolyte and Hypertension Division at the University of Pennsylvania added that guzzling plenty of water could be, in certain cases, downright harmful. Indian doctors agree with this, especially with people who suffer from kidney ailments. “This reduces the sodium level in the body. If water enters the body more quickly than it can be removed, body fluids are diluted and a potentially dangerous shift in electrolyte balance can occur,” said Dr Anoop Misra, Internal Medicine, Fortis Hospitals. He advocated an exhaustive scientific study in the matter.

Dr Rohit Bhargava, skin specialist at Max Healthcare, said, “Never have I told my patients that their skin condition is because of less consumption of water.”

“There is an urban myth that drinking a lot of water is healthy, and it leads to people toting around plastic water bottles all day drinking water,” Dr Goldfarb was quoted by Reuters as saying. “The source of the belief is the complementary and alternative medicine worlds.”

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