SKIN HYDRATION LEVELS IN HUMANS
Dehydration is a major epidemic in modern society with 2/3 of the population reported to be dehydrated. Children are particularly sensitive to dehydration. Dehydration is the cause of or associated with numerous diseases including heart disease, respiratory disease, kidney failure, diarrhea, infections, impaired wound healing, delirium and anxiety (Sawka, 2005; Popkin, 2010). 2000 children a day die of diarrhea-related diseases (in Africa and India). Increasing daily fluid intake is not a trivial solution as most people do not drink 8 glasses per day and most remain dehydrated. As a result, medical interventions are now available. Oral rehydration therapy is proven to be effective (Ozuah, 2002) and acknowledged by the WHO as an ‘essential medicine’.
A previous unpublished study measured intracellular water concentrations indirectly using bioimpedance (O’Brien, 2002) measures. That study showed a small increase in intracellular hydration in athletes after ingesting 2L/day of structured water for 4 weeks. The present study directly measures skin hydration levels in non-athletes after ingesting 1L/day of structured water for 3 weeks.
Water content of skin, the body’s largest organ, can be readily quantified by measuring the skin’s electrical properties (capacitance). Cosmetic chemists typically use the corneometer to measure skin hydration and the ability of topical products to increase skin hydration (O’Goshi, 2005). Clinical dermatologists use the same technology to study skin hydration in disease states. A research-grade digital corneometer was used on the surface of the underarm to measure skin hydration at the beginning of the study, 3 weeks after drinking control water and then 3 weeks later after drinking VIVO neutral pH water under double-blind conditions (subjects and experimenters did not know which type of water they were drinking). Control water was the same type (distilled) and contained the same mineral blend (proprietary) at the same concentration (3ppm) as the VIVO water, but was not structured according to the Lorenzen method (Patent #US2000 6,033,678). 25 healthy volunteers (25-45 years old) were recruited for this study.
The overall averages are presented in the table below:
*Measurements after 3 weeks of use
These results indicate that VIVO water is significantly more effective at increasing hydration levels in healthy volunteer subjects. The magnitude of this effect (21.6/6.4) is just over 3-fold. The 6% increase after drinking control water is not statistically significant, whereas the 22% increase in hydration after VIVO water is highly statistically significant (p < 0.001).
The present study demonstrates that VIVO water is three times more effective than purified water at increasing hydration levels in healthy volunteer subjects. The observed 22% increase after 3 weeks in similar in magnitude to that typically obtained in the dermatology literature, where similar increases are observed after 4 weeks of a topical moisturizer. Thus, the observed increase is physiologically significant in addition to being statistically significant. The small 6% increase observed after purified water with the same mineral content is not surprising since 2/3 of the population are still dehydrated despite the national obsession with drinking commercial bottled water which is no longer structured by the time it reaches the consumer.
Skin hydration has now been found to be associated with lean tissue total body water. A previously study investigated the relationship between total body water and local extracellular skin water content using anesthetized piglets (Campbell, 2006). Total body water was assessed by deuterium oxide dilution, whereas skin water content was measured in tissue biopsies at 60 minute intervals using various dyes. Lean body water (LBW) content and lean skin water (LSW) content was assessed after extracting the fat from biopsy samples. A correlation was found between the amount of total body water and skin water with a correlation coefficient of 0.58 (P<0.05). However, the strongest correlation occurred between the LBW fraction and LSW fraction with a correlation coefficient of 0.87 (P<0.05) and an SE of prediction of 0.77%. These data demonstrate that skin hydration measures (LSW) gives an accurate and precise estimate of total body water content and could therefore be used to determine the hydration index in appropriate research settings.
Allan Sosin, MD
Campbell SE et al. “A novel method to determine lean body water using localized skin biopsies: correlation between lean skin water and lean body water in an overhydration model.” Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2006;291:R1539-44.
O’Brien C, Young AJ, Sawka MN. “Bioelectrical impedance to estimate changes in hydration status.” International Journal of Sports Medicine 2002;23:361-6.
O’Goshi KI, Serup J. “Inter-instrumental variation of skin capacitance measured with the Corneometer.” Skin Research and Technology 2005;11:107-9.
Ozuah PO et al. “Oral rehydration, emergency physicians, and practice parameters: a national survey. Pediatrics 2002;109:259 –261.
Popkin BM “Water, hydration and health.” Nutr Rev. 2010; 68:439–458
Sawka MN et al. “Human water needs” Nutrition Review 2005;63:S30-S39.
Dr. Glen Rein, 22431 Antonio Parkway, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688