Hydration for Healthy Aging Adequate water intake is key to staying healthy and may even slow the aging process, according to new research from the National Institutes of Health. The NIH study, published in eBioMedicine journal, included data collected from over 11,000 adults who visited follow-up medical visits over 30 years and examined their fluid consumption, blood sodium levels and other key health markers. Results indicated that as blood sodium concentration increased, so did its risk for disease and mortality. Adults whose serum sodium concentration exceeded 144 milliequivalents/L had higher biological ages and had an increased risk of chronic health conditions such as heart failure, stroke, atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure and peripheral arterial disease.
The National Institutes of Health researchers assert that drinking plenty of fluids is an easy lifestyle change that could bring lasting health advantages for individuals. “This study adds observational evidence supporting potential long-term benefits of improved hydration on reduction of many important long-term health outcomes,” according to an NIH news release.
Researchers stress that their findings do not prove that adequate hydration will slow or extend lifespan; for this purpose, controlled trials need to be performed first in order to ascertain whether optimal hydration helps prevent disease and leads to healthier living. They recommend visiting their physician regularly for checkups in order to detect early symptoms of illness or disease.