Adequate water intake is important for daily bodily functions, such as regulating temperature and maintaining healthy skin and complexion.
But drinking enough water is also associated with a lower risk of chronic disease, a lower risk of dying prematurely, or a lower risk of being biologically older than your chronological age, according to a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health. of the United States and published by CNN. , citing the journal eBioMedicine.
Drink water (iStock)
In this regard, Natalia Dmitrieva, a researcher at the Laboratory of Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a division of the US National Institutes of Health, said: “The results indicate that hydration (consuming a appropriate amount amount of water) can slow down aging and prolong aging. » A life without disease.
Discovering which preventive measures can slow the aging process is a “major challenge for preventive medicine”, the researchers said in the study, because extending a healthy lifespan could help improve quality of life and reduce health care costs more than just treating illnesses.
According to the new study, lifelong restriction of water intake increased serum sodium in rats by 5 mmol per liter and shortened their lifespan by six months, which is equivalent to about 15 years of human life. Serum sodium can be measured in the blood and rises when not drinking enough fluids.
Using health data collected over 30 years from a study of atherosclerosis risk in communities, the research team found that adults with serum sodium levels in the upper end of the normal range – which is 135 to 146 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L) – had poorer health outcomes than those at the lower end of the scale. Data collection began in 1987 when participants were in their 40s or 50s, and the average age of participants at the final evaluation over the study period was 76.
And adults with levels above 142 mEq/L were 10% to 15% more likely to be biologically older than their chronological age compared to participants in the 137-142 mEq/L range. Participants with a higher risk of aging faster also had a 64% higher risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart failure, stroke, atrial fibrillation, peripheral arterial disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes and dementia.
And people with levels above 144 μmol/L had a 50% higher risk of being biologically older and a 21% higher risk of dying prematurely. On the other hand, adults whose serum sodium is between 138 and 140 μmol/L are less likely to develop chronic diseases.
Biological age has been determined by biomarkers, which measure the functioning of various organ systems and processes, including cardiovascular, renal, respiratory, metabolic, immune, and inflammatory biomarkers.
Higher blood sodium levels weren’t the only factor associated with disease, premature death, and the risk of faster aging – the risk was also higher in people with lower blood sodium levels. blood.
The researchers said this finding is consistent with previous reports of increased mortality and cardiovascular disease in people with low normal sodium levels, which has been attributed to diseases that cause electrolyte problems. .
Expressive heart disease
Drink fluids daily
According to several studies cited by the researchers of the new study, about half of the people in the world do not meet the recommendations for total daily water intake.
“Globally, this could be a problem,” Dmitrieva said in a press release. [النتائج] Significant impact, as low water content in the body is the most common factor that leads to excess sodium in the blood, which is why the results suggest that staying well hydrated can slow the aging process and prevent or delay chronic diseases.
Blood sodium levels are affected by fluid intake from water and other fluids as well as fruits and vegetables with high water content.
The US National Academy of Medicine recommends women consume 2.7 liters of fluids per day and men 3.7 liters per day.
This recommendation also includes all liquids and water-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables and soups. Since the average water consumption from liquids to food is about 80:20, this equates to a daily consumption of 9 cups for women and 12 cups for men. Noting the need for people with medical conditions to consult their doctor about the right amount of fluids for them.
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