Adults who stay well-hydrated appear to be healthier, develop fewer chronic conditions, such as heart and lung disease, and live longer than those who may not get sufficient fluids, according to a National Institutes of Health study published in eBioMedicine.
Research conducted over a 30-year period gathered data from just over 11,000 adults, comparing serum sodium levels (which increase when fluid intake decreases) to various indicators of personal health. Those with a higher-than-average range of serum sodium levels were found to be more likely to develop chronic health conditions in their lifetime, as well as being at higher risk of dying at a younger age.
“On the global level, this can have a big impact. Decreased body water content is the most common factor that increases serum sodium, which is why the results suggest that staying well hydrated may slow down the aging process and prevent or delay chronic disease,” said Natalia Dmitrieva, Ph.D., study author and researcher in the Laboratory of Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine, a part of the National Institute of Health.
Randomized trials are still required to determine if hydration can lead to a longer life, as the data presented in this study do not present a definitive causal effect between the two.
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