Having been a Weight Watchers member for a while, the program has really driven home for me the need to drink plenty of clean, fresh water without really understanding why. It have to do, in part, with water safely and naturally elevating your blood pressure, according to a new study from Vanderbilt University Medical School.
Scientists made the initial discovery a decade ago while observing patients whose bodies had temporarily lost their ability to monitor short-term changes in blood pressure, called baroreflexes, until they drank water. Since then, an American Red Cross study found that drinking a pint of water before donating blood reduced the chances of patients fainting by 20 percent.
This latest series of studies on mice took it a step further, by routing water directly into the stomach or duodenum (the front of the small intestine) which raised blood pressure, then a saline solution that didn't. Eventually, researchers determined water dilutes the plasma in blood vessels leading away from the duodenum, thus reducing the concentration of salt in blood and naturally elevating blood pressures.
Here's the kicker: The presence of water promotes activity in the nervous system, the burning of energy in the body and, consequently, weight loss. According to one estimate, a patient could lose up to 5 pounds a year just by drinking three 16-ounces glasses of water, and doing nothing else.
What an easy way, theoretically speaking, to lose weight.
Hypertension, Vol. 55, No. 6, pp. 1438-1443, June 1, 2010
insciences.org July 8, 2010