Drinking mineral water drinks is nothing new, but in recent times, the health community has been pushing to ban them, arguing that drinking too much can cause dehydration and lead to electrolyte imbalance, leading to high blood pressure and kidney failure.
In a study, researchers at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) in Bethesda, Maryland, and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia found that people who drank more than a cup of mineral water per day had a higher risk of developing kidney failure, hypertension, and stroke.
The researchers examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 1999 and 2008, and found that drinking more than one cup of water per week significantly increased the risk of kidney failure among men.
The study found that women with diabetes who drank two or more cups of mineral or sparkling water per month had a greater risk of stroke and cardiovascular events.
“In the elderly, the risk for stroke is greatest, as well as hypertension, but we found no association between mineral and/or sparkling water consumption and stroke risk,” said Dr. Matthew W. Glynn, a senior investigator with NIDDK and the lead author of the study.
Dr. Glynne H. Williams, director of the NIDDMH, said the findings are “very reassuring” because mineral water is “very popular among people.”
“This is something that is very inexpensive, it’s very safe, and we know it is safe,” Williams said.
“So we have a lot of interest in the health benefits of this water.”
The researchers found that the risk was greatest among men and those with hypertension, which is defined as having more than 100 milligrams of blood pressure-lowering medication per day.
“The findings from this study do not support the consumption of too much mineral water,” said Williams.
“This is not the way to go.”
The study authors also noted that mineral water drinkers have a lower risk of heart attack and stroke than people who drink more than the recommended amounts of water.
However, the researchers said there is no evidence that mineral or soda drinking reduces the risk or causes kidney damage, but they cautioned that there are several potential factors that could contribute to kidney damage.
For one, mineral water consumption may increase the risk in people who already have kidney disease, which increases the risk even more.
Another factor is that minerals and sparkling waters may be absorbed into the blood more slowly than water.
“People who are already drinking water or mineral water may have a better response to mineral water because they are less likely to have kidney damage,” said Glynn.
“This finding is important because drinking too many mineral water or sparkling waters can cause kidney damage.”
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