Drinking Water Helps Reduce Heart Disease Risk
Want to lower your risk of having a heart attack? Drink more water, and less of everything else, new research reports.
Researchers at Loma Linda University in California found that people who drank at least five glasses of water each day were less likely to die from heat attack than those who drank two or fewer glasses per day.
In contrast, people who drank a lot of other fluids (soda, juice, coffee, tea) were more likely to die from heart attack than those who drank less, with high levels of non-water drinking women associated with more than a two-fold increased risk of death.
Officials at the college said the results of a study to be published in the American Journal of Epidemiology reveal that drinking high amounts of plain water is as important as exercise, diet, or not smoking in preventing coronary heart disease.
“Basically, not drinking enough water can be as harmful to your heart as smoking,” said Dr. Jacqueline Chan, principle investigator and lead author of the article.
The study, “Water, Other Fluids, and Fatal Coronary Heart Disease,” followed the participants for 6 years. They found that women who drank more than five 8-ounce glasses of water a day were 41% less likely to die from heart attack during the study period than those who drank two or fewer glasses. In high-water consuming men, that risk decreased by 54%.
But when they looked at consumption of other fluids, including coffee,tea, juice, milk and alcohol, the risk was reversed, with women exhibiting a more than two-fold higher risk of dying of heart attack and men a 46% increased risk.
While not glamorous, the degree of benefit from drinking plain water reportedly surpasses drinking moderate amounts of alcohol, taking aspirin, and other preventive measures, with none of the adverse side effects. The researchers believe that when people drink water, it becomes absorbed in the blood, which decreases blood “thickness.” This lowers the risk of developing a heart attack-triggering blood clot.
Other fluids can thicken the blood because in order to be digested, they need to contain the same concentrations of particles as blood. Upon digestion, the fluids need to be diluted, so water gets pulled from the blood into the stomach.
Drinking more water has no side effects and can only do you good.