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Without diet and exercise: an easy way to slow down aging and reduce the risk of early death

'06.06.2024'

Nadezhda Verbitskaya

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According to new research, proper drinking of water can slow down aging and halve the risk of death at a young age, reports Independent.

Adults who drink about two liters of water a day are less likely to suffer from life-threatening diseases. For example, such as heart and lung diseases.

Such people live longer than those who do not get enough fluids.

The results of the study are based on data from 11 people. They have been observed for 255 years. They may lead to the development of a screening program for older patients.

The recommendation, known as the "8x8 rule," advises drinking eight 240-ounce glasses a day (nearly two liters) in addition to other beverages.

People are encouraged to take water bottles on the subway, and schoolchildren are encouraged to bring them to class. No office meeting should start without a giant pitcher sitting in the middle of the table.

On the subject: Top 7 eating habits of the world's longest living people

Study co-author Dr Natalia Dmitrieva, from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in Maryland, said: “The findings suggest that proper hydration can slow aging and prolong disease-free life.”

Her team analyzed data from the ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities) study, which included people from across the US.

The blood test showed that subjects with high sodium levels, which increase with decreased fluid intake, were more prone to chronic disease and progressive biological aging.

They were more likely to die at a younger age than those whose levels were in the average range.

The researchers evaluated the information that the participants shared during five visits to the doctor. The first two at the age of 50 and the last at the age of 70 to 90.

Biological aging was measured by 15 indicators, including blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels. This has shed light on the health of the cardiovascular, respiratory, metabolic, renal and immune systems.

Other factors were taken into account, such as age, race, gender, smoking history, and hypertension.

Adults with higher sodium levels within the normal range—defined as 135 to 146 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L)—were more likely to have signs of poor health.

This was based on indicators such as metabolic and cardiovascular health, lung function, and inflammation.

For example, those whose values ​​exceeded 144 mEq/L were 50% more likely to be biologically older than their chronological age.

This was compared with values ​​ranging from 137 to 142 meq/L. A level of about 143 mEq/L correlated with an increased risk of up to 15%.

For those whose sodium levels exceeded 142 mEq/L, the number of chronic diseases increased by two-thirds (64%).

These included heart failure, stroke, atrial fibrillation, peripheral artery disease, lung disease, diabetes and dementia.

Conversely, peers with sodium levels between 138 and 140 mEq/L had the lowest risk of developing these diseases.

Controlled trials are needed to determine whether optimal hydration can promote healthy aging, prevent disease and prolong life.

However, the resulting associations can be used in clinical practice and in personal behavior.

Dr. Dmitrieva noted, “People who have a serum sodium level of 142 mEq/L or higher may benefit from assessing their fluid intake.”

Most people can safely increase their fluid intake to recommended levels. This can be done with water, as well as other liquids such as juices, vegetables and fruits with a high water content.

The National Academies of Medicine recommend that women consume 6 to 9 glasses (1,5 to 2,2 liters) of fluid per day. And for men - from 8 to 12 glasses (2-3 liters).

Others may need a doctor's recommendation due to existing medical conditions.

Study co-author Dr Manfred Boehm explained: “The goal is to make sure patients take enough fluids while assessing factors such as medications that may lead to fluid loss. Doctors may also need to deviate from a patient's current treatment plan. For example, limit fluid intake if you have heart failure.” 

Around half of the world's people do not meet the recommended daily water intake, which often starts with six glasses (1,5 liters).

Dr. Dmitrieva elaborated: “On a global level, this could have a big impact. Decreased body water is the most common factor that increases serum sodium levels.”

This research develops the results of a study published by scientists in March last year. Even then, they associated high ranges of normal serum sodium levels with heart failure.

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