Maintaining proper hydration can slow aging and cut your risk of dying young in half, according to new research.
Adults who drink about 2 liters of water a day are less likely to develop life-threatening illnesses such as heart and lung disease.
They also live longer than those who cannot get enough water.
Findings are based on 11,255 individuals followed for up to 30 years. They may lead to screening programs for older patients.
A recommendation known as the “8 x 8 rule” recommends drinking eight 240ml glasses a day (almost 2 liters) on top of other beverages.
Commuters are encouraged to bring a bottle onto the London Underground, and schoolchildren are bringing it to class.
Almost no office meeting starts without a giant jug of water in the middle of your desk.
Dr. Natalia Dmitrieva, co-author of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in Maryland, said:
Her team analyzed data from the ARIC (Atherosis Risk in the Community) study of people across the United States.
Blood samples showed that people with high sodium levels, which increase when water intake decreases, tend to develop chronic diseases and biological aging.
They were also more likely to die at a younger age than controls with moderate levels.
Researchers evaluated information shared by participants during five medical visits. The first two times she was in her 50s and the last time he was in his 70s to his 90s.
Biological aging was measured by 15 markers including blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels.
It sheds light on cardiovascular, respiratory, metabolic, renal and immune system health.
Other factors such as age, race, sex, smoking history and hypertension were considered.
Adults with high sodium levels within the normal range, defined as 135-146 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L), were more likely to show signs of decline.
This was based on indicators such as metabolic and cardiovascular health, pulmonary function, and inflammation.
For example, people with measurements above 144 mEq/L are 50% more likely to be biologically older than their chronological age.
This was compared to a range of 137-142 mEq/L. A level of approximately 143 mEq/L correlated with an increased risk of up to 15%.
Chronic conditions increased by up to two-thirds (64%) in those with sodium >142 mEq/L.
They included heart failure, stroke, atrial fibrillation, peripheral artery disease, pulmonary disease, diabetes and dementia.
Conversely, peers with sodium concentrations of 138-140 mEq/L had the lowest risk of developing these diseases. Controlled trials are needed to determine whether it is possible.
However, associations can still inform clinical practice and guide individual health behavior.
“People with serum sodium ≥142 mEq/L may benefit from assessing fluid intake,” Dr. Dmitrieva said.
Most people can safely increase their fluid intake to meet recommended levels. This can be done not only with water, but also with other fluids such as juices, vegetables and fruits with a high water content.
For example, the National Academy of Medicine recommends women drink 6-9 liter glasses (1.5-2.2 liters) and men drink 8-12 liter glasses (2-3 liters) daily.
In addition, medical guidance may be required depending on the underlying disease.
Co-author Dr. Manfred Boehm, director of NHLBI’s Institute for Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine, said:
“Physicians may also need to follow the patient’s current treatment plan, such as limiting fluid intake for heart failure.” Did not meet the starting total daily fluid intake recommendation.
Dr. Dmitrieva said: Decreased body water content is the most common factor that increases serum sodium.
“Results suggest that maintaining adequate hydration slows the aging process and may prevent or slow chronic disease.
The study, published in the journal eBioMedicine, expands on a study published by scientists last March that linked a higher range of normal serum sodium levels to heart failure.