Hydration associated with lower risk of disease, study finds

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You should know that being properly hydrated is important for day-to-day bodily functions such as Like regulating temperature and maintaining skin health.

But drinking enough water is also associated with a significantly lower risk of developing chronic disease, dying early or being biologically older than your chronological age, according to a National Institutes of Health study published in the journal eBioMedicine.

“The results suggest that adequate hydration can delay aging and prolong a disease-free life,” said study author Natalia Dmitrieva, a researcher at the Laboratory of Regenerative Cardiovascular Medicine at the National Institute of Heart, Lung, and Blood, a division of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. NIH. in a press release.

Learning which preventive measures can slow the aging process is “a major challenge in preventive medicine,” the study authors said. This is because an epidemic of “age-dependent chronic diseases” is emerging as the world’s population rapidly ages. And extending a healthy life can help improve quality of life and lower health care costs for more than just treating disease.

The authors thought that optimal hydration might slow down the aging process, based on similar previous research in mice. In these studies, lifelong water restriction increased the mice’s serum sodium by 5 millimoles per liter and shortened their lifespan by six months, which is equivalent to about 15 years of human life, according to the new study. . Serum sodium can be measured in the blood and increases when we drink less liquid.

Using health data collected over 30 years from 11,255 black and white adults from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, or ARIC, the research team found adults with serum sodium levels in the upper end of the normal range – which is 135 to 146 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L) — had worse health outcomes than those at the lower end of the range. Data collection began in 1987, when participants were in their 40s or 50s, and the mean age of participants at final assessment during the study period was 76 years.

Adults with levels above 142 mEq/L had a 10% to 15% greater chance of being biologically older than their chronological age compared to participants in the 137 to 142 mEq/L range. Participants with greater those at risk of aging faster also had a 64% higher risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart failure, stroke, atrial fibrillation, peripheral artery disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes and dementia.

And people with levels above 144 mEq/L had a 50% greater risk of being biologically older and a 21% greater risk of dying early. Adults with serum sodium levels between 138 and 140 mEq/L, on the other hand, had the lowest risk of developing chronic disease. The study did not have information about how much water the participants drank.

“This study adds to observational evidence that supports the potential long-term benefits of improved hydration in reducing long-term health outcomes, including mortality,” said Dr. Howard Sesso, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and associate epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, via email. Sesso was not involved in the study.

However, “it would have been good to combine their definition of hydration, based only on serum sodium levels, with the actual fluid intake data from the ARIC cohort,” added Sesso.

Biological age was determined by biomarkers that measure the performance of different organ systems and processes, including cardiovascular, renal (kidney-related), respiratory, metabolic, immunological, and inflammatory biomarkers.

High serum sodium levels weren’t the only factor associated with disease, early death, and risk of aging faster—the risk was also higher among people with low serum sodium levels.

This finding is consistent with previous reports of increased mortality and cardiovascular disease in people with regularly low sodium levels, attributed to diseases that cause electrolyte problems, the authors said.

The study looked at participants over a long period of time, but the results do not prove a causal relationship between serum sodium levels and these health outcomes, the authors said. More studies are needed, they added, but the findings could help clinicians identify and guide patients at risk.

“People whose serum sodium is 142 mEq/L or higher would benefit from having their fluid intake assessed,” Dmitrieva said.

Sesso noted that the study did not strongly address accelerated aging, “which is a tricky concept that we’re just beginning to understand.”

“Two main reasons underlie this,” Sesso said. The study authors “relied on a combination of 15 measures to accelerate aging, but this is one of many existing definitions for which there is no consensus. Second, their data on hydration and accelerated aging was a ‘snapshot’ in time, so we have no way of understanding cause and effect.”

About half of people worldwide do not meet recommendations for total daily water intake, according to several studies cited by the authors of the new research.

“At the global level, this could have a big impact,” Dmitrieva said in a press release. “Decreased body water content is the most common factor that increases serum sodium, which is why the results suggest that staying well hydrated can slow the aging process and prevent or delay chronic disease.”

Our serum sodium levels are influenced by our net intake of water, other fluids, and high-water fruits and vegetables.

“The most striking finding is that this risk (for chronic disease and aging) is apparent even in individuals with serum sodium levels that are at the upper end of the ‘normal range,'” said Dr. Richard Johnson, professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, via email. He was not involved in the study.

“It challenges the question of what is really normal and supports the concept that as a population we are probably not drinking enough water.”

More than 50% of your body is made of water, which is also needed for a number of functions, including digesting food, creating hormones and neurotransmitters, and delivering oxygen throughout your body, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

The National Academy of Medicine (formerly known as the Institute of Medicine) recommends that women consume 2.7 liters (91 oz) of fluid daily, and that men consume 3.7 liters (125 oz) daily. This recommendation includes all liquids and foods rich in water, such as fruits, vegetables and soups. Since the average water intake ratio of liquids to food is about 80:20, this equates to a daily amount of 9 cups for women and 12 ½ cups for men.

People with health conditions should talk to their doctor about how much fluid intake is right for them.

“The goal is to ensure that patients are getting enough fluids, while evaluating factors, such as medications, that may lead to fluid loss,” said study co-author Dr. Manfred Boehm, director of the Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine Laboratory, in a press release. “Physicians may also need to defer a patient’s current treatment plan, such as limiting fluid intake for heart failure.”

If you’re having trouble staying hydrated, you may need help incorporating the habit into your usual routine. Try leaving a glass of water next to your bed to drink when you wake up, or drink water while breakfast is being prepared. Anchor your hydration habit to where you are a few times a day, behavioral science expert Dr. BJ Fogg, founder and director of the Behavioral Design Laboratory at Stanford University.



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