« Make healthy hydration the new norm »

4th Annual Hydration For Health Scientific Conference, Evian, July 2012

The 4th Annual H4H Scientific Conference was held this year on the 3rd & 4th July, in Evian.

The 4th Annual Hydration for Health (H4H) Scientific Conference saw over 150 international scientific and medical experts gather in Evian, France to learn about and share the latest developments and scientific research related to hydration and health.

The event was divided into four sessions, beginning with “Hydration & Thirst” where Prof. Thornton of the University of Lorraine (France), spoke first, followed by Dr Kavouras of Harokopio University, and finally Dr Mentes of the UCLA School of Nursing. The second session was devoted to “Kidney Health” and included talks from Dr Bankir, Emeritus Research Director at INSERM, Prof. Clark of the Western University (Canada), and Prof. Lotan of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (USA). The post-lunch session was entitled “Consumption Trends” and started with Prof. Aznar of Zaragoza University (Spain), followed by Prof. Lafontan, Emeritus Research Director at INSERM, representing the H4H Initiative Expert Working Group that outlined the H4H Initiative recommendations on healthy hydration. The final session focused on behaviours aimed at changing hydration status and featured presentations from Dr Perrier, Hydration and Physiology Scientist at Danone Research, Mr Johnson of the University of Connecticut (USA) and Dr Boesen Mariani of Danone Research. Presentations were followed by a Q&A session where delegates were able to ask further questions to the presenters and assembled experts.

The conference also had a special session dedicated to the inaugural ‘Hydration for Health Young Researcher of The Year Award’ with a presentation on The effect of hydration status on endothelium function in healthy adults by award winner Giannis Arnaoutis, a PhD student from the Harokopio University, Athens, Greece. Giannis received his award from Prof. L.E. Armstrong (USA) who presented the Young Researcher Award on behalf of the H4H Initiative Expert Working Group.

The scientific sessions were followed by a roundtable discussion led by an expert panel including Dr Lise Bankir, Dr Simon Barquera (National Institute of Public Health, Mexico), Prof. Lawrence Armstrong (University of Connecticut), Prof. Lafontan and Liliana Jimenez (Danone Research, France).

The panel acknowledged that current levels of water intake among the general population are lower than required for optimal health and so discussions were focused on strategies to achieve an increase in water consumption to healthy levels. It was agreed that the best way to achieve this would be greater education regarding hydration benefits whilst also ensuring widespread availability and visibility of high-quality water. Additionally, the panel established that the move towards healthier hydration habits may require political involvement to support the scientific developments: for instance companies may have a corporate social responsibility to promote healthy drinking habits.

The meeting underlined the firm commitment towards the adoption of healthy hydration practices, and key points to emerge from the day’s discussions included:

  • Thirst alone, as a driving force, is not sufficient to maintain optimal hydration
  • Increased water intake may be highly beneficial to kidney function, reducing renal stone formation and chronic kidney disease progression. Randomised clinical trials are being designed to evaluate the effects of water intake on chronic renal disease
  • Further research is needed into the role of vasopressin (ADH) in chronic kidney disease
  • Urinary biomarkers are more accurate than plasma biomarkers to measure hydration in real life conditions
  • Increase healthcare provider education and public awareness of the importance of drinking abundant amounts of safe water, within the context of a healthy balanced diet

The 4th Hydration for Health Scientific Conference full proceedings is now available online. Click here to read more.