We performed a comprehensive literature review to examine evidence on the effects of hydration on the kidney. By reducing vasopressin secretion, increasing water intake may have a beneficial effect on renal function in patients with all forms of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and in those at risk of CKD. This potential benefit may be greater when the kidney is still able to concentrate urine (high fluid intake is contraindicated in dialysis-dependent patients). Increasing water intake is a well-accepted method for preventing renal calculi, and current evidence suggests that recurrent dehydration and heat stress from extreme occupational conditions is the most probable cause of an ongoing CKD epidemic in Mesoamerica. In polycystic kidney disease (PKD), increased water intake has been shown to slow renal cyst growth in animals via direct vasopressin suppression, and pharmacologic blockade of renal vasopressin-V2 receptors has been shown to slow cyst growth in patients. However, larger clinical trials are needed to determine if supplemental water can safely slow the loss of kidney function in PKD patients.
© 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.