Purpose: Suboptimal hydration has been linked to a variety of adverse health outcomes. Few studies have examined the impact of hydration status on immune function, a plausible physiological mechanism underlying these associations. Therefore, we tested how variation in hydration status was associated with circulating pro-inflammatory cytokine levels and ex vivo lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated pro-inflammatory cytokine production. Methods: Blood samples were obtained from a community sample of healthy middle-to-older-aged adults (N = 72). These samples were used to assess serum osmolality, a biomarker of hydration status, and markers of immune function including circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines and stimulated pro-inflammatory cytokine production after 4 and 24 h of incubation with LPS. Multiple linear regressions were used to test the association between serum osmolality (as a continuous variable) and markers of immune function at baseline and after 4 and 24 h adjusting for age, sex, and BMI. These models were re-estimated with serum osmolality dichotomized at the cut-off for dehydration (> 300 mOsm/kg). Results: While not significantly associated with circulating cytokines (B = − 0.03, p = 0.09), serum osmolality was negatively associated with both 4 h (B = − 0.05, p = 0.048) and 24 h (B = − 0.05, p = 0.03) stimulated cytokine production when controlling for age, sex, and BMI. Similarly, dehydration was associated with significantly lower cytokine production at both 4 h (B = − 0.54, p = 0.02) and 24 h (B = − 0.51, p = 0.02) compared to adequate hydration. Conclusion: These findings suggest that dehydration may be associated with suppressed immune function in generally healthy middle-to-older aged community-dwelling adults. Further longitudinal research is needed to more clearly define the role of hydration in immune function.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics