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Drinking More Water Linked to Reduced Risk of UTI

Women are more prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs) than men, in part because their urethra is shorter. A recent study suggests that drinking three more glasses of water per day may help reduce the risk of urinary tract infection in women who are prone to them.

Participants in the study included 140 healthy, premenopausal women who had at least three UTIs the previous year and did not consume very many fluids. Over the course of one year, half of the women were told to drink 1.5 liters of water (approximately three 16-ounce glasses) more than their usual fluid intake per day, while the other half followed their usual daily fluid intake and acted as a control.

At the conclusion of the year, the control group had an average 3.1 UTIs, while the increased water group had an average 1.6 UTIs, a 48% reduction. As a result, the water group had an average 1.8 antibiotic sessions (a 47% reduction), compared with 3.5 antibiotic sessions in the control group.

The researchers noted that drinking more fluids increases the rate of flushing of bacteria from the bladder, and probably reduces the concentration of bacteria that enter the bladder from the vagina. This reduces the attachment of bacteria to cells in the urinary tract, which can lead to infection.

Researchers from the University of Miami School of Medicine conducted the study. It was presented at IDWeek 2017 the week of October 4, 2017.

The human body is composed of 60% water. This makes it important to consume enough water every day to replace water lost from sweat, breathing, urine, and stool. Increasing water intake has been associated lower calorie consumption, less muscle fatigue, better looking skin, healthier kidneys, and improved bowel function.

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