Ordinary water may be an unexpected tool against obesity hormone

Vasopressin, a hormone linked to diabetes and obesity, may be suppressed by water, potentially making it a tool against metabolic syndrome. The findings come from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus where researchers found that fructose stimulates the hormone and water suppresses it — at least in lab rodents.

The study, which was recently published in JCI Insight, involved feeding mice water mixed with fructose. This beverage was found to trigger the production of vasopressin in the brain, which is elevated in people who have diabetes or obesity. The hormone works to maintain water levels in the body.

The stimulation of vasopressin caused by the fructose water caused the water to be stored as fat, according to the study, resulting in a type of dehydration leading to obesity. The researchers found that giving the mice plain water (without fructose) reduced this vasopressin-linked obesity.

Of note, the study found that dehydration can stimulate the body to form fat, paving the way for obesity and the metabolic issues related to it. The researchers point out that obesity is often accompanied by indications of dehydration in people suffering from it and may also implicate high-sodium diets as potential diabetes and obesity triggers.

In total, using 'water therapy' was found to offer protective effects against metabolic syndrome, which refers to a variety of conditions like high blood sugar and pressure, as well as high triglycerides, those things paving the way for larger issues like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

Put simply, one of the researchers behind the study, Richard Johnson, MD, explained:

Sugar drives metabolic syndrome in part by the activation of vasopressin. Vasopressin drives fat production likely as a mechanism for storing metabolic water. The potential roles of hydration and salt reduction in the treatment of obesity and metabolic syndrome should be considered.