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Drinking less than 17 ounces of water a day may lead to pre-diabetes, suggests a new French study. The study included 3,615 French adults, 30 to 65 years old, with normal blood sugar levels. Of the participants, 19 percent said they drank half a liter or less of water a day, and the rest drank a liter or more of water a day. Over nine years, 565 study participants developed abnormally high blood sugar and 202 developed type 2 diabetes. The participants who drank at least 17 ounces of water a day were 28 percent less likely to develop high blood sugar than those who drank less than that amount. The risk of developing diabetes did not correlate with water intake in this study but the researchers noted the sample size was too small to get a statistically significant result. Researchers speculate that the hormone vasopressin, an antidiuretic that helps to regulate water retention, also may elevate blood sugar. Vasopressin receptors are located in the liver, the organ responsible for producing blood glucose, and one study showed that injecting healthy people with vasopressin caused blood sugar to spike temporarily. Dehydration also causes vasopressin to rise. Another explanation may be that people drink sugary beverages instead of water, leading to poor blood sugar control. However, even when the study results were adjusted for the intake of sugary drinks and alcohol, the researchers still found a high association between low water consumption and high blood sugar. The research was not able to determine if those who consume more water have generally healthier lifestyle habits, which might account for the difference in blood sugar levels. Larger studies are needed to determine if there is a statistically significant link between low water consumption and the risk of developing diabetes. -Amy Norton, Reuters Source