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posted by Raymond Core 7:06 PM


Much of what we've had drummed into us since childhood is questionable if not untrue, though we are reluctant to give up our beliefs (``Mummy and daddy told me so''). Get ready to be shook up again. It comes from a news release (truncated here) issued by Dartmouth Medical School (DMS). The need to drink eight glasses of water a day is questioned.

Hanover, New Hampshire _ It has become accepted wisdom: ``Drink at least eight glasses of water a day!'' Not necessarily, says a DMS physician Heinz Valtin, MD. The universal advice that has made guzzling water a national pastime is more urban myth than medical dogma and appears to lack scientific proof, he found. In an invited review published online by the American Journal of Physiology August 8, Valtin, professor emeritus of physiology at Dartmouth Medical School, reports no supporting evidence to back this popular counsel, commonly known as ``8 x 8'' (for eight, eight-ounce glasses).

Valtin, a kidney specialist and author of two widely used textbooks on the kidney and water balance, sought to find the origin of this dictum and to examine the scientific evidence, if any, that might support it. He observes that we see the exhortation everywhere: from health writers, nutritionists, even physicians. Valtin doubts its validity. Indeed, he finds it, ``difficult to believe that evolution left us with a chronic water deficit that needs to be compensated by forcing a high fluid intake.''

The 8 x 8 rule is slavishly followed. Everywhere, people carry bottles of water, constantly sipping from them; it is acceptable to drink water anywhere, anytime. A pamphlet distributed at one southern California university even counsels its students to ``carry a water bottle with you. Drink often while sitting in class.''

How did the obsession start? Is there any scientific evidence that supports the recommendation? Does the habit promote good health? Might it be harmful?

Valtin thinks the notion may have started when the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council recommended approximately ``1 millilitre of water for each calorie of food'', which would amount to roughly two to two-and-a-half quarts per day (64 to 80 ounces).

Although in its next sentence, the Board stated ``most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods'', that last sentence may have been missed, so that the recommendation was erroneously interpreted as how much water one should drink each day.

He found no scientific studies in support of 8 x 8. Rather, surveys of fluid intake on healthy adults of both genders, published as peer-reviewed documents, strongly suggest that such large amounts are not needed. His conclusion is supported by published studies showing that caffeinated drinks, such as most coffee, tea and soft drinks, may indeed be counted toward the daily total. He also points to the quantity of published experiments that attest to the capability of the human body for maintaining proper water balance.

Despite the dearth of compelling evidence, then, What's the harm? ``The fact is that, potentially, there is harm even in water,'' explains Valtin. Even modest increases in fluid intake can result in ``water intoxication'' if one's kidneys are unable to excrete enough water (urine). Such instances are not unheard of, and they have led to mental confusion and even death in athletes, in teenagers after ingesting the recreational drug Ecstasy, and in ordinary patients.

And he lists other disadvantages of a high water intake: (a) possible exposure to pollutants, especially if sustained over many years; (b) frequent urination, which can be both inconvenient and embarrassing; (c) expenses, for those who satisfy the 8 x 8 requirements with bottled water; and (d) feelings of guilt for not achieving 8 x 8.

Other claims discredited by scientific evidence that Valtin discusses include:

Thirst Is Too Late. It is often stated that by the time people are thirsty, they are already dehydrated. On the contrary, thirst begins when the concentration of blood (an accurate indicator of our state of hydration) has risen by less than two percent, whereas most experts would define dehydration as beginning when that concentration has risen by at least five percent.

Dark Urine Means Dehydration. At normal urinary volume and colour, the concentration of the blood is within the normal range and nowhere near the values that are seen in meaningful dehydration. Therefore, the warning that dark urine reflects dehydration is alarmist and false in most instances. Is there scientific documentation that we do not need to drink ``8 x 8''? There is highly suggestive evidence, says Valtin.

First is the voluminous scientific literature on the efficacy of the regulatory system that maintains water balance through the antidiuretic hormone and thirst. Second, published surveys document that the mean daily fluid intake of thousands of presumably healthy humans is less than the roughly two quarts prescribed by 8 x 8. Valtin argues that, in view of this evidence, the burden of proof that everyone needs 8 x 8 should fall on those who persist in advocating the high fluid intake without, apparently, citing any scientific support.''

posted by Raymond Core 5:18 PM

We all know that water is important but I've never seen it written quite like this before. WATER 1. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. (Likely applies to half world population) 2. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger. 3. Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 3%. 4. One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100%of the dieters studied in a U-Washington study. 5. Lack of water, the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue. 6. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers. 7. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page. 8. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer. Are you drinking the amount of water you should every day? COKE 1. In many states (in the USA) the highway patrol carries two gallons of Coke in the trunk to remove blood from the highway after a car accident. 2. You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of coke and it will be gone in two days. 3. To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl and let the "real thing" sit for one hour, then flush clean. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china. 4. To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers: Rub the bumper with a rumpled-up piece of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola. 5. To clean corrosion from car battery terminals: Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion. 6. To loosen a rusted bolt: Applying a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola to the rusted bolt for several minutes. 7. To bake a moist ham: Empty a can of Coca-Cola into the baking pan, wrap the ham in aluminum foil, and bake. Thirty minutes before the ham is finished, remove the foil, allowing the drippings to mix with the Coke for a sumptuous brown gravy. 8. To remove grease from clothes: Empty a can of coke into a load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains. It will also clean road haze from your windshield. For Your Info 1. The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid. Its pH is 2.8. It will dissolve a nail in about 4 days. Phosphoric acid also leaches calcium from bones and is a major contributor to the rising increase in osteoporosis. 2. To carry Coca-Cola syrup (the concentrate) the commercial truck must use the Hazardous material place cards reserved for Highly corrosive materials. 3. The distributors of coke have been using it to clean the engines of their trucks for about 20 years! Now the question is, would you like a glass of water or coke?
posted by Raymond Core 7:26 PM

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