Objectives: Several animal studies have shown that bladder performance improves as a result of diuresis. Whether increased urine output also has beneficial effects on elderly male bladder function and lower urinary tract symptoms is unknown.
Methods: We performed a randomized placebo-controlled trial of 141 men, 55 to 75 years of age, with moderate lower urinary tract symptoms. The experimental group drank 1.5 L of extra water daily. The control group consumed one tablespoon of placebo syrup daily. After 6 months, we evaluated bladder contractility, voided volumes, and the severity of lower urinary tract symptoms. The actual increase in water consumption was measured using the deuterium urine dilution method.
Results: Water consumption in the intervention group increased by 359 mL (95% confidence interval [CI] 171 to 548) per 24 hours compared with the control group. At 6 months, no statistically significant effect was found in the maximal flow rate (0.9 mL/s, 95% CI -0.4 to 2.2) compared with placebo. A statistically significant effect was found for bladder pressure (20 cm H2O, 95% CI 6 to 34) and bladder wall stress (1.9 N/cm2, 95% CI 0.3 to 3.5). In addition, it showed that the experimental group had greater maximal (44 mL, 95% CI -1 to 90) and average (26 mL, 95% CI 1 to 51) voided volumes per urination. The subjective effect parameters improved in both groups, but no statistically significant differences were found between the two groups.
Conclusions: It seems possible to improve some aspects of male bladder function by drinking more water. However, the effects are too small to be clinically relevant.