The Water of Life

A recent study published in the journal eBioMedicine by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that well-hydrated adults are less likely to develop chronic health conditions, have a reduced risk of early death, and are generally healthier.

The research analysed health data from 11,255 adults over 30 years, focusing on serum sodium levels and other health indicators to determine how they correlated with biological ageing.

The study assessed information from five medical visits for each participant, with the first two visits occurring when participants were in their 50s and the last visit between 70 and 90 years old.

Results showed that adults with higher serum sodium levels within the normal range had a 10 to 15% greater chance of being biologically older than their chronological age compared to those in the mid-normal range. Participants at greater risk of ageing more quickly also had a 64% higher risk of developing chronic diseases, including stroke, heart failure, dementia, and diabetes.

Study author Natalia Dmitrieva, a researcher at the NIH’s Laboratory of Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), stated, “The results suggest that proper hydration may slow down ageing and prolong a disease-free life.”

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