Watch the conference video report
The 9th edition of the H4H Scientific Conference offered many new opportunities to discuss hydration, not only among seasoned scientists and H4H attendees but also a wider audience thanks to the H4H academy.
Hydrationists from all over the world gathered in Evian-les-Bains France, on the 4th and 5th of July to attend the 9th Annual Hydration For Health Scientific Conference. Among those 200 participants, were 15 speakers who took the podium to discuss the results of over 20 different scientific and clinical studies.
The second edition of the H4H Academy, took place on July 4th.
The first course of the Academy focused on the basic knowledge of hydration, the physiology of water balance maintenance and hydration assessment methods. The course was led by conference regulars, Professor I. Tack from the Toulouse School of Medicine (France) and Professor S. Kavouras from the University of Arkansas (USA).
For the first time a new course dedicated to fluid intake assessment and the Liq.In7 database was held. This course was led by Dr. J. Gandy, Dr. H. Martinez, Dr. M. Luger and Dr. I. Guelinckx. The course gave insights on current fluid intake patterns around the world, existing recommendations on adequate water intake and best practices in creating a favorable environment for water consumption, so-called a hydrogenic environment.
Preventing urinary tract infections (UTI): Existing solutions and new frontiers
Professor Hooton, from the University of Miami (USA) started off the conference with an enlightening overview on urinary tract infections. UTIs are the most common infection treated by physicians and will affect as many as 60% of women over the course of their lifetime.
Following Prof. Hooton, came Ms. MC. Vecchio, from Danone Nutricia Research (France) to discuss the preventive role of water in UTIs. Ms. Vecchio pointed out that, although women suffering from recurrent UTIs, are often recommended to drink more water as a preventive action, no official recommendation exists to support the beneficial effects of increased water intake.
Vasopressin: Ancient hormone, central role
The second session of the day explored the emergence and functions of the hormone vasopressin (AVP). Vasopressin is mostly known for its antidiuretic role on the kidney but it has a more complex, diverse and somewhat unknown scope of action in the body. The session began with Professor O. Devuyst from the University of Zurich (Switzerland) who talked about the emergence of vasopressin (AVP) during the animal evolution. Prof. O. Devuyst gave great insights on the evolutionary components of water handling, by retracing the vasopressin story back over 700 million years and its crucial role in the transition from ocean to earth.
Next at the podium was Professor D. Bichet from the University of Montreal (Canada) who studies vasopressin secretion in the brain and its role in the regulation of thirst. He explained that, although there is a ten-minute delay between ingestion of water and its full absorption into the bloodstream, drinking can quench thirst within seconds, long before the ingested water has had time to alter the blood volume or osmolality. Thus, explaining the existence of water receptors in the mouth. His talk gave new perspectives on the perception of water and thirst by the brain.
This second session closed with Professor I. Tack of the Toulouse Medical School (France), who talked about the role of vasopressin as a stress hormone. Prof. I. Tack answered two questions: 1) Can improved hydration prevent the effects of high AVP concentrations even in circumstances where its stimulation is independent of osmotic regulation? 2) What does drinking “enough” practically mean regarding potential health benefits?
New evidence on the implication of vasopressin in disease
Ms. R. El Boustany, Ph.D. student at Pierre & Marie Curie University (France) explained the relation between vasopressin and diabetic kidney disease. Vasopressin is increased in diabetes and was shown to contribute to development of diabetic nephropathy.
Next was Dr. S. Enhörning, Hydration for Kidney Health Research Initiative awardee, from Lund University (Sweden) who presented her study on plasma copeptin as a predictor of cardio-renal disease. Data suggest that copeptin is an independent predictor of cardiometabolic and renal diseases and could be used to identify individuals who are at higher risk of developing diabetes, renal disease and its cardiovascular complications in an attempt to offer early preventive strategies.
To close the conference, was Professor Moist from Ontario Western University (Canada) who announced the next step of the Hydration for Kidney Health Research Initiative (H4KH), a collaboration between Danone Nutricia Research and the International Society of Nephrology (ISN): three research opportunities have been created this year, including the ISN-H4KH New Investigator Award, the H4KH Research Grant and the inaugural H4KH Fellowship Grant. It is the second time that such research opportunities are created. The first time, the H4KH Research Grant went to Dr. S. Enhörning to encourage her in her research on copeptin and cardiometabolic disease, research that she presented at the H4H Conference this year.
In addition to the sessions, two keynote lectures were held during the conference
Professor A. Levin, immediate past-president of ISN, from the University of British Columbia (Canada) talked about improving global kidney health worldwide, through ISN initiatives and based on the findings of the Global Kidney Health Atlas. She focused on the issues faced by the nephrology community and key findings in the Atlas such as the tremendous increase in the incidence of kidney disease worldwide and the lack of access to transplantation and related care in developing countries. Kidney diseases will become a key public health issue in the forthcoming years, efforts should be made on kidney disease prevention and improvement of the access to care.
Professor D. Brown from Harvard Medical School (USA) talked about the unexpected discovery, through basic research on kidney function, of a biomarker that can detect acute kidney injury (AKI) within a few hours of onset, rather than a few days later. This discovery may also lead to potential therapy to treat AKI. These finding shed a new light on the diagnostic and treatment of AKI.
This year, the Young Researcher was elected through the new “Pitch Your Science!” contest: each candidate has 3 minutes to pitch their research live and the audience selected the winner. The winner of the 2017 YRA was Conor Underwood, a 2nd year Ph.D candidate in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Macquarie University (Australia). Mr. C. Underwood shared his ongoing research on how inadequate hydration might contribute to high blood pressure and polycystic kidney disease (PKD) progression. Mr. Underwood’s research opens new perspectives for the treatment of hypertension in PKD patients and has the potential to alleviate the medication of these patients, which would lead to a tremendous improvement in the quality of life of these patients.
To know more, access our YRA 2017 report here
Do you want to be part of the next Hydration For Health Scientific Conference? Stay tuned for registration here