Long Life and Health
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Good Hydration Linked to Longer Lifespan

A new study suggests that drinking enough water daily may be the key to greater disease resistance and a longer life.

This latest research indicates that adults who stay well-hydrated appear to be healthier, enjoy a lower risk of developing chronic diseases, and may live longer overall compared with their less-hydrated peers. 

That’s according to an NIH study published in eBioMedicine. Data from more than 11,000 participants collected over 25 years revealed higher serum sodium levels — which rise when fluid intake decreases — were associated with a 39 percent increased likelihood of developing chronic conditions like heart failure, stroke, and dementia, compared with adults who had levels in the medium range.

Adults with higher sodium levels were also 21 percent more likely to die at a younger age.

“The results suggest that proper hydration may slow down aging and prolong a disease-free life,” said study author Natalia Dmitrieva in a release. Dmitrieva is a researcher in the Laboratory of Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

In addition to longevity and chronic disease outcomes, they found adults with elevated serum levels were 10-15 percent more likely to be “biologically older” than their chronological age, compared with adults within the lower ranges. 

Most individuals can safely improve fluid intake by drinking fluids or eating vegetables or fruits with high water content, researchers said. However, some patients with underlying health conditions may need to seek medical guidance as certain medications can lead to fluid loss. 

So Just How Much Water Is Enough?

How much do we need to drink each day to stay properly hydrated and perhaps benefit from a longer life? That’s the big question. The National Academy of Medicines recommends most women drink 6-9 cups of fluids each day. For men, the Academy recommends 8-12 cups.

Dmitrieva said that according to her research, around half of all people do not drink the recommended amounts of fluids.

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