Water and Chronic Disease
Given that the body is more than 60% water, it is no wonder that our water consumption has a profound effect on our health. The body looses water every day, which needs to be replaced, on average, 2.9 litres for men, and 2.2 litres for women. Studies have demonstrated that people who do not consume an adequate amount of water are at greater risk for certain chronic diseases.
According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, the risk factors associated with coronary heart disease are elevated by dehydration. It reports that drinking high amounts of water is as important as exercise, diet, or not smoking in preventing the disease.
In a recent study individuals who drank five or more glasses of water per day reduced the risk of fatal coronary heart disease by 46% in men and 59% in women. By contrast, the consumption of other fluids was associated with an increased risk.
Similar studies have found a link between hydration and certain forms of cancer. One such study found that the risk of breast cancer in women was reduced by 79% among women who regularly consumed adequate amounts of water.
Dehydration has been implicated in a number of conditions affecting the bladder, prostrate, and kidneys, including cancer and kidney stones. One study has found that patients commonly do not consume enough water (less than 2.4 litres of water per day). An investigation demonstrated that the risk of these forms of cancer diminished with each additional 240 ml of water consumed. Other forms of fluids were also studied, but none has as much impact as pure water.
Because drinking water is a simple lifestyle change that anybody can do, this simple practice has the potential of improving many people's quality of life and ultimately saving many lives.