Can you prevent urinary tract infections by drinking more water?
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common infectious diseases in women. Over 50% of women experience at least¹ UTI in their lifetime¹. Many strategies have been proposed to prevent UTI, but for most of them evidence-based clinical data are either sparse or conflicting². Until recently, no scientific evidence on the causal effect of water on UTI prevention was available, even though water is often recommended by clinicians to women experiencing recurrent episodes.
The first randomized controlled trial assessing the effect of increased water intake for the prevention of recurrent acute uncomplicated cystitis was published on October 1st 2018. The study by Dr. T. M. Hooton and colleagues demonstrates that increasing daily consumption of water by 1.2L decreases the recurrence of cystitis by 48% in low-volume drinker women³.
According to the data of the Liq.In7 database, 50% of women worldwide do not meet the EFSA daily adequate intake recommendation for water⁴. Thus, the proportion of women who might benefit from a reduction in the number of UTI by increasing water intake is consequential, even though the number of low volume drinkers affected by recurrent UTI is unknown.
Access the original article: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2705079
Here you'll find a press article about the publication from the American press: The New York Times.
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- Fihn SD: Clinical practice. Acute uncomplicated urinary tract infection in women. N Engl J Med 2003; 349: 259–266.
- Vecchio M. et al. Prevention of Cystitis: Travelling between the Imaginary and Reality. Ann Nutr Metab 2018;72(suppl2):8-10
- Hooton T.M. et al. Effect of increased Daily Water Intake in Premenopausal Women with Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections : A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. Published online October 1, 2018
- Guelinckx I, et al. (2015) Intake of water and different beverages in adults across 13 countries. Eur J Nutr. 54 Suppl (2):S45-S55.