For decades, mainstream medicine has blamed heart disease on excess SALT (sodium) in the American diet.
But as I’ve also been reporting for decades, scientific evidence doesn’t support that indictment of salt.
Plus, as I’ll explain today, a brand-new study seems to suggest heart problems—including HEART FAILURE—may stem from one common problem experienced in middle age.
Let’s get right to it…
Hydration is a basic key to health
I’ve often reported that you don’t need to (and shouldn’t) guzzle gallons of water each day to achieve good health.
But you do need to take in enough liquids (including coffee) to keep all your body’s functions running smoothly.
For example, drinking enough fluids helps the body:
- Build new cells to replace old ones.
- Protect your joints, tissues, spinal cord, and brain.
- Regulate temperature through sweat and respiration.
- Digest and metabolize foods.
- Transport and flush out waste and toxins through your liver, kidneys, and colon.
Of course, your fluid intake also affects your blood. For example, serum—the pale yellow liquid portion of your blood—is about 90 percent water.
But when you become dehydrated, your blood becomes too heavily concentrated with electrolytes…including sodium. And over time…as the new study I just mentioned found…this imbalance can raise blood pressure and harm your heart!
Study explores link between dehydration and heart failure
Researchers set out to explore the connection between dehydration (measured by excess sodium in the blood) and heart failure.
They followed about 16,000 middle-aged men and women over 25 years.
At five different points in study, the researchers checked the participants’ hydration levels by measuring the sodium in their blood.
(Remember, this reading is a way to assess hydration status. However, it does not accurately reflect the amount of salt in your diet. Specifically, the more dehydrated you are, the more concentrated your blood…and the higher your sodium levels. So, the researchers were looking at whether or not the participants were drinking enough fluids to keep the sodium in the blood at “normal” levels.)
Next, the researchers categorized the participants into five groups based on their blood sodium levels:
- The “low blood sodium” group ranged between 135 to 139 millimoles/liter (mmol/L).
- The “high blood sodium” group ranged between 144 to 146 mmol/L.
Then, they tracked the incidence of heart failure, including problems with the heart’s ability to pump blood.
Well, it turns out, the men and women who had sodium levels higher than 142 mmol/L in middle age saw their rates of heart failure and other heart problems “surge” once they hit age 70.
Here’s how the researchers think it might have happened…
When sodium levels in the blood surpass 142 mmol/L, your brain may secrete a hormone telling the kidneys to start preserving fluids. As a result, urine production decreases—setting into motion increases in blood pressure. And, as you know, high blood pressure is a MAJOR risk factor for heart disease and heart failure.
Now, here’s the real kicker…
According to current laboratory standards, 142 mmol/L falls within “normal levels.” So, when you have your blood tested at your routine check-up…you may have blood sodium levels that your doctor says are completely normal.
But—according to this study—142 mmol/L is right on the cusp of putting you at risk for developing heart failure!
(Ask your doctor about your sodium levels when you get your blood tested at your annual check-up. It may tell you a lot about your heart health)
Plus, as the researchers mentioned, chronic dehydration can directly harm the cells of the heart muscle itself. So, here’s what you can do to prevent this common problem…
Two ways to stay hydrated AND protect your heart
The first and most obvious way to improve your hydration (and protect your heart) is to make sure you take in plenty of liquids during the day.
Experts disagree on how much you need daily. I typically recommend you let your body’s own “thirst mechanism” guide you.
Just make sure to stay away from energy drinks and soft drinks—which can lead to dehydration. (Taking this sensible approach will also help prevent a common sleep problem, as I’ll discuss on Friday.)
On the other hand, liquids without added sugar—such as water, coffee, tea, broth, and fresh-squeezed, 100 percent fruit juices—can all count toward your daily intake.
I also recommend supplementing daily with 400 to 500 mg of aspal (or rooibos). This botanical extract of the South African red bush plant can help support your mitochondria and keep you hydrated on a cellular level. (Mitochondria make water for your cells and serve as your cells’ energy factories. But cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, which doctors commonly dole out to people with heart problems, actually poison your mitochondria!)
For many more safe, effective, natural approaches to protect your heart, check out my Heart Attack Prevention and Repair Protocol. To learn more about this comprehensive online learning tool, or to enroll today, click here now!