Healthy aging and drinking water: Fascinating findings of a new study
Almost half of the world’s people do not consume the recommended daily total water intake, a new report shows
More drinking enough water it can help many to delay the aging process.
A recent National Institutes of Health (NIH) study published in eBioMedicine suggests so—though there are caveats to be aware of.
“The results suggest that proper hydration can slow aging and prolong disease-free life,” said Dr. Natalia Dmitrieva, study author and researcher at the Laboratory of Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. in Bethesda, Marylandin a press release.
Researchers looked at the relationship between blood sodium levels and certain markers of health — and explained that sodium levels in the blood increase when fluid intake is reduced.
Adults who had serum sodium levels at the upper end of the normal range were more likely to die at a younger age.
They were also more likely to develop chronic conditions and show signs of advanced biological aging, compared with those whose levels were in the middle range, according to the NIH report.
The study authors explained that hydration plays a role in serum sodium levels.
The normal range for serum sodium should be between 135-146 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L), according to the NIH publication.
The study authors explained that hydration plays a role in serum sodium levels.
“Decreased body water content is the most common factor that increases serum sodium, so the results suggest that maintaining good hydration may slow the aging process and prevent or delay chronic disease,” they said.
The team collected data from 11,255 participants over a 30-year period.
The NIH release said the team found that serum sodium greater than 142 mmol/l for those in middle age was associated with a 39% increased risk of developing chronic disease — and up to a 64% increased risk of developing dementia and chronic disease. such as diabetesstroke, atrial fibrillation, heart failure and peripheral artery disease.
Randomized, controlled trials are needed to determine whether optimal fluid intake can help prevent disease and promote healthy aging.
Staying well hydrated is also linked to better health, fewer chronic diseases and a longer life, according to the study.
The researchers also found that participants with serum sodium levels above 144 mEq/L had a 50% higher risk of being “biologically older” than their actual age — while those around the 142 mEq/L mark had up to a 15% increased risk, compared to those who had ranges between 137 and 142 mEq/L
Adults with levels between 144.5 and 146 mEq/L had a 21% higher risk of premature death compared to those with levels between 137-142 mEq/L, the NIH report also noted.
The study authors found that adults with serum sodium levels between 138-140 mEq/L had the lowest risk of developing chronic disease.
The NIH statement, however, said the researchers’ findings do not prove causation — and that randomized, controlled trials are needed to determine whether optimal fluid intake can help prevent disease and promote healthy aging.
The researchers said the correlations found in the study can help guide an individual’s behavioral habits and be informative for clinicians.
“People whose serum sodium is 142 mEq/L or higher would benefit [an] assessment of their fluid intake,” Dmitrieva said in an NIH statement.
It is important that people discuss with their doctor how much water intake is appropriate for them and their individual circumstances.
People can increase their fluid intake with water as well juices, vegetables and fruits with a high water contentshe said in a statement.
Health experts say that certain medical conditions can also affect fluid intake or the need for fluid restriction – so it’s important that people talk to their doctor about how much water intake is appropriate for them and their individual circumstances.
“The goal is to ensure that patients take in enough fluids, while assessment factors, such as medicationswhich can lead to fluid loss,” said Manfred Boehm, MD, study author and director of the Laboratory for Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine, in an NIH news release.
Boehm also said in a statement, “Physicians may also need to adhere to the patient’s current treatment plan, such as limiting fluid intake for heart failure.”
Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, is director of the Mount Sinai Heart Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Health System in New York. He was not part of the study, but told Fox News Digital that the findings were interesting and provocative.
“The authors’ findings are consistent with the advice many of us received from our mothers – drink six to eight glasses of water every day,” he said.
“Staying well hydrated is probably a good idea, although I wouldn’t say for the average healthy person to drink more water unless they’re thirsty.”
“Recently, that conventional wisdom has been challenged, with experts instead recommending that you only drink water when you’re really thirsty, not on a schedule.”
Bhatt cautioned, “Older adults or those with some degree of dementia …they may lose their sense of thirst — and in these situations, a more regular intake of water can sometimes be beneficial.”
Bhatt, who is also a professor of cardiovascular medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Health System, noted that the researchers looked at sodium levels — and this was not a direct study of the amount of daily water intake.
“To prove that drinking more water actually improves health, a gold standard randomized trial would be needed,” he said.
“Bottom line: staying well hydrated is probably a good idea, although I wouldn’t say for the average healthy person to drink more water unless you’re thirsty,” he added.
“Maybe, in this peri-pandemic period where some people may be working from home and glued to their computer, it’s more important to keep track of the time and make sure you’re taking in enough water to stay well hydrated.”
dr. Marzena Gieniusz, internist and geriatrician in the Department of Medicine and the Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Northwell Health in New Yorktold Fox News Digital, “The important takeaway from this study is that more research is needed to understand the dynamics between hydration and aging and how best to optimize hydration under different conditions and at the individual level to improve health and outcomes.”
She added: “The results of this study do not prove causation – and more hydration does not equate to better hydration, healthier aging and better outcomes for everyone. This is important to understand.”
dr. Gieniusz, also an assistant professor at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, also said, “Optimal hydration depends on individual and body needs, which are influenced by a variety of factors including, but not limited to, activity level, health status, weather, etc.”
She noted, “When it comes to recommendations about how much water or fluids we should drink, it depends on the individual. The standard 6-8 cups a day is not for everyone.”
“The body is designed to self-regulate and maintain balance — although self-regulation and maintaining balance becomes more of a challenge as we age.”
Gieniusz added, “The human body is very complex — and we are still learning how different systems work independently and interact with each other, including the body’s salt and fluid utilization and balancing system.”
She said: “We know that the body is impressively designed to self-regulate and maintain balance – although self-regulation and maintaining balance becomes more challenging as we age.”
For example, she said, “as we age, we often experience a decrease in thirst, so older people can drink [fewer] fluids, which can increase the risk of fluid loss or dehydration – and this can sometimes lead to complications. However, sometimes that can actually be a good thing.”
She added: “Certain medical conditions (eg, heart failure), which are more common in the elderly, may benefit from fluid and/or salt restriction, and some patients even take medications to rid the body of water to better manage their medical conditions. conditions.”
Current guidelines from the National Academy of Medicine suggest that women should drink 6-9 cups (1.5-2.2 liters) per day and men 8-12 cups (2-3 liters) per day, according to the release.