US Study Finds Poor Hydration Linked to Early Aging and Disease

    US Study Finds Poor Hydration Linked to Early Aging and Disease
    Last updated Jan 02, 2023
    Image credit: PA Wire [via Independent]


    • In a study published on Monday, the US National Institutes of Health found that adults who maintain good hydration appear to live longer and experience fewer chronic medical conditions. The data for the findings were gathered over 30 years.[1]
    • The results were published in eBioMedicine, which studied data from 11,255 Black and White participants and showed that adults with increased serum sodium levels suffered worse health outcomes than those with lower levels.[2]
    • Researchers began collecting the data in 1987 from participants who were in their 40s and 50s at the time. The study found that adults with serum sodium levels exceeding the normal range had a 10-15% higher likelihood of being biologically older than their chronological age when compared with those adults in the normal range.[2]
    • One recommendation is that adults drink two liters or 0.5 gallons of water per day in addition to any other drinks consumed to be well hydrated. This recommendation is also known as the "8x8" rule advising adults to drink eight 240 milliliter glasses of water each day — over and above any other beverages.[3]
    • Natalia Dmitrieva, a National Institute of Health researcher and one of the authors, said that just as regular exercise and nutrition are required for maintaining health, hydration has emerged as a third significant factor in reducing chronic illnesses and slowing the aging process. She also cautioned that additional research is needed.[4]


    Narrative A

    Many studies show that increased water intake is good for one's health. However, the recommendation of eight glasses of water daily is not based on scientific facts and excludes considerations based on activity level and outdoor conditions. It would be better to publicly say that water is the best option for hydration and that other drinks should be consumed in moderation — this study should be taken with a metaphorical grain of salt.

    Narrative B

    This study proves that hydration and health are intimately linked, yet the US neglects to provide clean drinking water for many. Between 2013 and 2017, 1.1M Americans reportedly had insecure water access. Subpar housing conditions and systemic social and racial divisions have led to this crisis. We may not even understand the true scale of the problem, because the US Census Bureau tends to undercount people in rental units, homeless individuals, and people of color. More must be done to address this.

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