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Top up on fluids to live longer

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Make sure you’re getting plenty of fluids every day.  Staying hydrated reduces your chances of developing chronic health problems and can even help you live longer.

Researchers have discovered that people who aren’t hydrating are more likely to develop heart and lung diseases and die prematurely.

They analysed data from 11,255 people that had been collated for 30 years and found that those with high serum sodium levels—an indicator of poor hydration—were suffering from more chronic health problems and were dying earlier than people with low levels.  People with the highest serum sodium levels were 64 percent more likely to suffer from a chronic health problem, including heart failure, stroke, artery disease, lung disease, diabetes and dementia.

Hydration impacted on 15 biological markers, such as blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose (blood sugar).  

“Proper hydration may slow down aging and prolong a disease-free life,” said Natalia Dmitrieva, one of the researchers from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Women should be consuming up to nine cups (2.2 litres) of fluids every day, and that goes up to 12 cups (2 to 3 litres) for men.  Fluids can come from water, juices, coffee, tea, vegetables, and fruits.  People should also take a close look at any medications they’re taking, as many can have a dehydrating effect, the researchers say.

Around half the world’s population don’t even meet the minimum fluid intake recommendations of six cups (1.5 litres) a day.

eBioMedicine, 2023; 104404; doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2022.104404

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