American researchers may have found a simple way to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs), finding that drinking an additional three pints (or 1.42 liters) of water a day could help keep the infections at bay in women who are prone to them.
Led by Thomas M. Hooton, MD, clinical director of the Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Miami School of Medicine, the study looked at 140 healthy premenopausal women who had at least three UTIs in the last year and reported low daily fluid intake.
Women are more likely to suffer from UTIs than men partly because in women the urethra is shorter, meaning it is easier for bacteria to travel from the rectum and vagina to the bladder and cause infection.
Half of the women were told to drink 1.5 liters of water a day (about three 16-ounce glasses) in addition to their usual daily fluid intake, while the other half served as the control group and continued their usual daily fluid intake.
The women were followed for one year, with the researchers finding that on average, women in the water group increased their daily water intake by 1.15 liters (about 2-1/2 pints) and had a total daily fluid intake (including water and other beverages) of 2.8 liters.
Women in the control group however did not increase the amount of water they drank at all, and had a total daily fluid intake of 1.2 liters.
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