8 Glasses a day? No evidence

April 2, 2008 4:56:23 PM PDT
For years we've heard that drinking more water can clear your skin, help you lose weight, and generally keep you healthier. But a new local study says there's no evidence to support these claims.

It's become a trend... People toting around big bottles of water, striving to increase their daily intake.

Jamie Fader, of Fishtown, says, "Richard Simmons (the weight loss guru) says water bathes your fat cells - ha ha!"

Becky Heller, a University of Pennsylvania freshman says she's heard water "clears your skin, helps keep skin moist, and not dry, and protects you against the weather."

But Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, a kidney specialist at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine says there's no proof that drinking the widely-recommended 8-glasses of water a day makes you healthier.

"Many of these benefits are very unlikely," according to Dr. Goldfarb.

Dr. Goldfarb and Dan Negoianu, a fellow researcher at the university, looked at four different health claims to drinking more water:

*It helps rid more toxins

*It clears your skin

*It cures a headache

*It aids in weight loss

For all these claims, Dr. Goldfarb says, "There's no scientific evidence."

But Dr. Goldfarb does think the idea that drinking more water could help weight loss at least deserves more research, because it's such a big public health issue.

As for the other claims, we know dehydration causes problems, but Dr. Goldfarb says merely increasing how much water you drink has no real benefit.

Still he doesn't expect the water-carrying trend to go down the drain anytime soon.

Jamie is unconvinced. She still believes in getting a lot of water, "I say the proof is in the pudding. And it does make a difference in how I feel."