A new study shows that adults who only drink a few cups of water each day may be raising their chances of becoming diabetic due to high blood sugar levels.

The research, conducted by the French national research institute INSERM, found that adults who consumed half a liter of water a day or less were more likely to have blood sugar levels in the “pre-diabetes” range, which doctors use to describe patients who are not diabetic but have high enough blood sugar levels to be considered at great risk for developing the disease.

What the study was not able to determine is why there is a link between water intake and blood sugar levels. One possibility: vasopressin, an antidiuretic hormone which maintains the body’s water retention levels can be increased when we are dehydrated. Higher levels of vasopressin may raise blood sugar.

Though it is possible that there is a biological connection, there is also the fact that many people who fail to drink adequate amounts of water are overindulging in sugary juices, sodas, sports drinks and alcoholic beverages.

The study tracked 3,615 adults between ages 30 and 65 who had normal blood sugar at the start of the research. Over the course of the nine year investigation, 565 participants developed high blood sugar and 202 were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Researchers found that people who drank at least 17 ounces of water each day were 28% less likely to develop high blood sugar than those who drank less.

While additional research is obviously needed to determine the connection between water and blood sugar, let this serve as yet another reminder: keep your water intake high and your indulgence in sugary beverages low.



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