Drinking water daily is vital and can provide the human body with essential benefits. Being hydrated aids in regulating body temperature, keeping joints lubricated, preventing infections, delivering nutrients to cells, and keeping organs functioning properly.
Recent studies have confirmed hydration can significantly impact your physical health.
How? You may ask.
A National Institutes of Health study published Monday in the journal “eBioMedicine” found that drinking enough water is also associated with a significantly lower risk of contracting chronic diseases, a lower risk of passing away before your time, or a lower risk of being biologically older than your chronological age.
“The findings show that proper hydration may slow ageing and lengthen a disease-free life,” said study author Natalia Dmitrieva, a researcher at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a part of the NIH, in a news release.
Learning what preventive treatments can reduce the ageing process is a “major issue of preventive medicine,” according to the study’s authors. Because the world’s population is increasingly ageing, an “age-dependent chronic diseases” epidemic is arising. Furthermore, prolonging a healthy life span might enhance the quality of life and save healthcare expenditures more than simply treating disorders.
Based on earlier studies in mice, the scientists hypothesised that optimum hydration could halt the ageing process. According to the new study, lifetime water restriction increased the serum sodium of mice by five millimoles per litre. It lowered their life span by six months, equivalent to about 15 years of human life. Serum sodium levels in the blood may be monitored, and they rise as we consume less water.
Using data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study, or ARIC, collected over 30 years from 11,255 Black and White adults, the research team discovered that adults with serum sodium levels at the higher end of the normal range — 135 to 146 milliequivalents per litre (mEq/L) — had worse health outcomes than those at the lower end of the range. Data collecting began in 1987 when participants were in their 40s or 50s, and the average age of participants at the study’s conclusion was 76.
Adults with levels above 142 mEq/L had a 10% to 15% greater likelihood of being biologically older than their chronological age than participants with values between 137 and 142 mEq/L. Participants with a higher risk of premature ageing were also 64% more likely to have chronic disorders such as heart failure, stroke, atrial fibrillation, peripheral artery disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes, and dementia.
People with levels above 144 mEq/L were 50% more likely to be biologically older and 21% more likely to die prematurely. Adults with blood sodium levels between 138 and 140 mEq/L had the lowest chance of acquiring the chronic illness.
The study did not include data on how much water people drank.
“This study adds observational evidence that reinforces the potential long-term benefits of improved hydration on long-term health outcomes, including mortality,” said Dr Howard Sesso, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and an associate epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, in an email.
The bottom line is to drink enough water daily to stay properly hydrated. If you’re having difficulties staying hydrated, you might need assistance incorporating the habit into your daily routine. Leave a glass of water by your nightstand for when you wake up. It will help you remember.
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