There is already a consensus that the regular consumption of water can bring countless benefits to the body, but now, North American researchers have been able to demonstrate that this daily intake can help prevent heart failure. For this, the team of scientists followed the habits of 15,700 people for 25 years.
In a study presented at a conference of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US have long looked at the advantages of drinking a few glasses of clean water during the day. Furthermore, they concluded that most people do not reach the minimum daily fluid intake threshold to obtain these cardiological benefits.
“Our study suggests that maintaining good hydration can prevent or at least slow down the changes in the heart that lead to heart failure,” commented study author and NIH researcher Natalia Dmitrieva. “The findings indicate that we need to pay attention to the amount of fluid we consume each day and take action if we think we drink too little,” he said.
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Drinking water regularly lowers the risk of heart failure (Image: Reproduction/Prostock-studio/Envato Elements)
How much water do you need to consume per day?
In the study, researchers established that the ideal daily water consumption goal should be 1.6 to 2.1 liters for women and two to three liters for men. This amount seems to be sufficient to prevent risks of heart failure associated with dehydration and, consequently, to offer protective effects to the body.
On the other hand, any lower consumption and this pattern can be negative for the body. This is because the concentration of sodium in a person’s body tends to reach very high levels. Because the body automatically takes steps to conserve fluid, the risk of heart failure increases.
“It’s natural to think that hydration and serum sodium concentration should change day after day, depending on how much we drink,” commented Dimietrieva. “However, the serum sodium concentration remains within a narrow range for long periods, which is probably related to the habitual consumption of liquids”, he pointed out.
This means that these changes in sodium concentration take a long time to take hold. Thus, drinking a lot of water in one day and not drinking the next day has practically no value for the body. It is necessary to maintain the constancy of this consumption.
Understanding the Heart Failure Study
Drinking water is very good for the heart (Image: Reproduction/Alexandru Acea/Unsplash)
To reach these conclusions, the study examined whether blood sodium concentration could predict the development of heart failure over a 25-year interval. In addition, the researchers examined the connection between hydration and thickening of the walls of the left ventricle (left ventricular hypertrophy), which is a precursor to diagnosing heart failure.
These analyzes were performed on 15,792 adults in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. Participants were between 44 and 66 years old at recruitment and were evaluated five times during the course of the studies. Thus, the last samples were collected when they were between 70 and 90 years old.
For the researchers, higher serum sodium concentration in middle age was associated with heart failure and left ventricular hypertrophy 25 years later. “The results suggest that a good hydration throughout life can reduce the risk of developing left ventricular hypertrophy and heart failure”, completed the researcher.
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