Can 8 glass of water harm us and cause water intoxication or hyponatremia?

Drinking more than 8 glass of water can lead to water intoxication

You might have heard that we should drink a lot of water as it might detox body removing chemicals. Countering the previous notion, a new study claims that drinking too much water can lead to water intoxication. According to study authors, drinking eight glass of water daily can adversely affect your body.

A team of researchers from the Monash University in Victoria, Australia, claim to have found a mechanism that decides how much water a human body requires and stops us from over drinking any fluid.

The new find has shown that our body warns us before we drink excess water which might lead to water intoxication or hyponatremia —  a medical condition in which levels of sodium in the blood become abnormally low. Such conditions might lead to several problems like lethargy, nausea, convulsions and coma in some cases.

Our body is tightly calibrated to regulate amount of water present in the body and our body activates “swallowing inhibition” if we drink excess water in order to prevent us from drinking further fluid.

“If we just do what our body demands us to we’ll probably get it right — just drink according to thirst rather than an elaborate schedule,” said Michael Farrell, Associate Professor at Monash University.

Researchers conducted the study on human participants. Every study subject was given water to drink in two conditions —  when they were thirsty and when they had drink excess water. Researchers asked participants how difficult it is to drink water in both the conditions.

Researchers also took the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scan of participants to see which brain area is affected the most in both the scenario. Study authors were astonished to see that participants applied three times more efforts in case of over drinking.

“We found effort-full swallowing after drinking excess water which meant they were having to overcome some sort of resistance, as the swallowing reflex becomes inhibited once enough water has been drunk,” Farrell said.

Thus, researchers concluded that drinking excess water can adversely affect the health and can lead to water intoxication.

Previosuly a study has suggested that even a glass of fresh water contains more than ten million bacteria that are good for health in some way or other. These bacteria help in purifying water, making it healthier for drinking. (Read More)

The study was published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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